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Money matters: Local activists walk for 5 days to ask Vanguard to stop investing in fossil fuels

Money matters: Local activists walk for 5 days to ask Vanguard to stop investing in fossil fuels

Vanguard, headquartered in Malvern, is one of the biggest investors in coal, oil, and gas.

Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) along with Chester Residents Concerned for Quality Living, Exodus Alliance, and Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition walked for 40-miles from Chester to the Malvern headquarters of Vanguard. Protesters stopped along local areas already impacted by climate change and a protest at Chase Bank, a major investor in fossil fuel companies.

“Not only are Vanguard’s investments driving climate chaos globally, they include some of the biggest polluters in the Delaware Valley,” said Eileen Flanagan, Campaign Director with Earth Quaker Action Team, a grassroots, nonviolent action group founded by Philadelphia area Quakers. 

Photo by Rachel Warriner

The walk began on April 18th at Chester’s Covanta Incinerator, visited Heinz Wildlife Refuge, flooding areas of Eastwick with Eastwick Friends and Neighbors Coalition, Chase Bank in Wayne and concluded Friday at Vanguard Headquarters.

Photo by Rachel Warriner

Over 100 organizations addressed an open letter to vanguard to tackle is climate problem. Vanguard received a zero of 30 on a scorecard from Reclaim Finance, ranking 30 major asset managers on their climate commitments.

“Vanguard is one of the top two investors in companies developing new coal projects and holds $130 billion in the 12 biggest oil and gas expansionists, and there is not a single policy in sight from Vanguard to restrict investments in fossil fuel expansion or even use its shareholder voting power to hold the world’s biggest polluters accountable,” said Lara Cuvelier, Sustainable Investments Campaigner with Reclaim Finance.

Vanguard has made public declarations on racial and environmental justice, which often is contradictory to its portfolio. “Even Vanguard’s so-called ‘socially responsible’ ESG funds invest in polluting and carceral industries, while its ‘charitable’ funds channel money to climate change denial groups and right-wing groups fueling bigotry,” said Cecilia Behgam, Senior Researcher with the Action Center on Race and the Economy. 

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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