ImpactAlpha. Oct. 7 – The world’s largest fossil fuel funder said it would reduce financed emissions in line with Paris goals, promising more details in the spring.
JPMorgan Chase will work with “clients, policymakers and advocates to transition our economy and turn the goals of Paris into a reality,” said co-president Daniel Pinto. A new Center for Carbon Transition will provide clients with sustainability-focused financing, research and advisory solutions.
The bank, long a target of climate activists, will set emissions targets for the oil and gas, electric power and automotive manufacturing sectors, and advocate for carbon pricing. But it stopped well short of dropping fossil fuels clients, arguing that “adequate commercially available solutions to replace oil and natural gas” are lacking.
“A promissory note for 2030 or 2050 isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on unless it is matched by action in 2020,” responded Paddy McCully of Rainforest Action Network, which pegs the bank’s fossil fuel funding since 2015 at more than $268 billion, far ahead of any other bank. If JPMorgan is serious, he said, it should “immediately stop financing expansion of fossil fuels and deforestation.”
The move comes after a shareholder proposal asking JPMorgan to explain how its activities align with the Paris accord drew nearly 50% of votes this spring.
JPMorgan follows Morgan Stanley, which last month became the first major U.S. bank to commit to zeroing out by 2050 emissions facilitated by its loans, underwriting and other financial activities.
French banks, such as Crédit Agricole and Natixis, are among the climate leaders.