MISSOULA — Clearwater Credit Union (Clearwater) announced $50,000 in donations to Montana nonprofits working to combat climate change. Clearwater’s donation coincides with the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) being held in Glasgow, Scotland, October 31 through November 12, 2021.

Clearwater’s donations will be split among the Montana Environmental Information Center (Helena), the Northern Plains Resource Council (Billings), Montana Conservation Voters (Billings), the National Center for Appropriate Technology (Butte), Climate Smart Missoula (Missoula), and Families for a Livable Climate (Missoula). 

“We know this bit of philanthropy is small relative to the scale of the problem. Nonetheless, we hope it signals serious intent. The threat climate change poses to our health and well-being could not be more real. At the same time, the economic opportunities presented by taking action to combat it are huge. Banks and credit unions need to get in the lead here. After all, it is our lending activity that should be supporting the energy transformation we all need,” said Jack Lawson, President & CEO of Clearwater Credit Union. “If you’ve got a renewable, efficiency, sequestration, or conservation project – whether for home or business – talk to us. We want to be a part of it.”

The organizations listed above are leaders in local efforts to avoid and mitigate climate change in Montana. 

“The international focus is on COP26 and crucial climate negotiations, but there’s so much to be done here in Montana,” said Amy Cilimburg, Executive Director of Climate Smart Missoula. “The stakes are high, and this financial support will help us accelerate our efforts to ‘Electrify Missoula,’ partner with low-income advocates to grow our clean Indoor Air program, collaborate with others around the state to reduce emissions and build resiliency, and so much more.”

Clearwater is dedicated to avoiding dangerous climate change and making Montana a leader in the clean energy economy of the 21stcentury. In addition to our support of local climate leaders, we measure our own greenhouse gas emissions annually, reduce these emissions with renewable energy and energy efficiency, and have been carbon neutral since 2020 in part by using carbon offsets generated by funding energy efficiency in a local affordable housing project. Clearwater was also a key partner in developing the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), a tool for financial institutions to measure the greenhouse gas impacts of their balance sheets. Clearwater recently completed an assessment of our own balance sheet - one of the first six financial institutions in the US to do so - and will be publishing our first assessment in December. 

For more information, visit clearwatercreditunion.org/COP26, email paul.herendeen@clearwatercreditunion.org, or call (406) 523-3321.

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