J.P. Morgan, the nation’s biggest bank, plans to cut exposure to companies that don’t align their operations with the Paris Climate Accord. Apparently, firms that don’t agree with J.P. Morgan’s political views on climate don’t deserve loans. Thankfully, there are thousands of banks still operating in the U.S. that are willing to lend to these apparent “climate heretics.” There are many reasons to rein in the big banks, but this may top the list. Billy Nauman reports in The Financial Times:
JPMorgan Chase says it is shifting its financing portfolio away from fossil fuels after facing years of pressure from shareholders and environmental activists.
The US bank on Tuesday called for its clients in the oil and gas, electric power and automotive sectors to reduce emissions by 2030 and vowed to cut its exposure to companies that do not align their operations with the Paris climate accord.
The announcement followed longstanding criticism from activists who have targeted JPMorgan. This year the bank said it would replace Lee Raymond, the former chief executive of ExxonMobil, as lead independent director, in a move heralded as a win by sustainable investment advocates.
“Today’s announcement is significant,” said Alec Connon of the Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition. “The world’s largest lender to the fossil fuel industry has clearly signalled that the fossil fuel game is coming to an end.”
However, he added: “If Chase is serious about its climate commitments, it’ll need to quickly follow this up with policies that prohibit all lending to coal companies and companies still expanding fossil fuel production.”
Read more here.