by Marti Townsend, Director
Huge news! BNP Paribas announced last week that it is withdrawing its financial support of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
We are ecstatic! This is great news for the widespread public movement to divest from fossil fuel infrastructure.
For Hawaiʻi, this means the connection between First Hawaiian Bank and the Dakota Access Pipeline is dissolved, but it does not mean the struggle to stop DAPL or to divest from fossil fuels is over. If anything, now is the time to re-double our collective efforts to align our energy options and financial investments with our local principles and policies.
Hawaiʻi made the commitment to a fossil-fuel-free utility by 2045, and we are on the verge of adopting a similar policy for ground transportation here this legislative session. Locally owned businesses, non-profits working for the best interests of Hawaiʻi’s people, even our county governments, should take note and evolve their financial profile to align with these public policies. This victory is one of many on the path towards a fossil fuel free future.
Of course, it will take a collective effort by shareholders, investors, beneficiaries, and the public to engage and educate our local institutions on how they can defend our climate and communities by divesting from fossil fuels. Stay tuned for more coordinated efforts on this front.