Skip to main content

JP Morgan Chase — the oil industry’s bank of choice — to withdraw support for some fossil fuels

JP Morgan Chase & Co. will end or phase out loans to some fossil-fuel interests, namely Arctic drilling and coal mining, but the ongoing funding of major oil firms by the world’s largest financier of fossil fuels still chafes environmentalists and shareholder groups.

The bank said at its annual investor day on Tuesday that it will aim to facilitate $200 billion in environmental and economic development deals. It will put restrictions on financing new coal-fired power plants, phase out “credit exposure” to the industry by 2024 and stop funding new oil and gas drilling projects as part of protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The company’s announcement Tuesday emerges a few days after the bank’s own economists warned that the climate crisis presents financial and reputational risk that can’t be ignored, according to leaked documents reported by the Guardian.

The bankJPM, -1.77%  had provided $196 billion in funding of fossil-fuel projects between the December 2015 creation of the Paris climate agreement and the end of 2018, according to the Rainforest Action Network. A separate Guardian analysis says $75 billion had been offered “to the companies most aggressively expanding in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration since the Paris agreement.”

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon in past appearances has been critical of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris pact. Dimon has also said the climate change-fighting initiatives laid out in the Democrat-designed Green New Deal push too fast toward fulling decarbonizing the U.S. economy.

Climate groups have been welcoming bank policy changes but warn that the goals from the banking sector aren’t enough to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the target laid out in the Paris pact. Oil enthusiasts are pushing for a mix of energy sources as the U.S. embraces energy independence, including relatively low-cost natural gas, along with renewable options.

“JP Morgan Chase’s new policy is nowhere close to global best practice because while it restricts direct financing for new coal plants, it fails to restrict financing for the companies behind them,” said Brett Fleishman, head of finance campaigns with advocacy group 350.org.

“Moreover, by focusing only on coal, gas and Arctic oil, the bank can still continue pouring billions of dollars each year into other parts of the fossil fuel industry, including fracking, pipelines, tar sands and liquified gas terminals,” Fleishman said.

Nonprofit shareholder advocacy group Majority Action welcomed Tuesday’s step and the bank’s joining of the Climate Action 100+ coalition, but warned that the bank, and fund giant BlackRockBLK, -1.31% , have been mostly voting against shareholder resolutions on climate issues, even as they grab headlines with climate-change actions.

BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink earlier this year delivered a “materially different” annual letter to chief executives on climate change compared to his softer stance only one year earlier, some analysts said. Sooner rather than later, Fink said, sustainable investments that take into account climate change will deliver better returns.

“JP Morgan Chase, the world’s largest fossil fuel lender, must join with leading global banks and commit to comprehensively disclosing its financed emissions, re-aligning its lending and underwriting activity to the goals of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, and phasing out fossil fuel financing in line with that target,” said Majority Action Executive Director Eli Kasargod-Staub.

Majority Action and other groups have pushed for the removal of JP Morgan board member Lee Raymond, who once denied climate change as he grew Exxon Mobil XOM, -1.60% into the biggest U.S. oil company. Raymond is a known Dimon champion who has been the financial services giant’s longest-serving board member, for more than three decades.

JPM shares are down 6.8% in the year to date although are up more than 23% over the past year. The Dow Jones Industrial AverageDJIA, -1.16% is down 3% so far in 2020 and up about 6% in the past year.

Source: Read Full Article

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fears coronavirus will spark divorce surge as couples self-isolate for months

Coronavirus is "very likely" to lead to an increase in marriage break-ups because of people being confined together for long periods in self-isolation, a leading divorce lawyer has said.Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, whose previous clients have included Sir Paul McCartney, the Prince of Wales, Madonna and Liam Gallagher, revealed the view of the profession as a growing number of households go into voluntary lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of infection.Official health advice states that if one person in a property has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there should stay at home for 14 days.Nicknamed the "Steel Magnolia" for her skills and charm, Lady Shackleton told peers at Westminster: "The prediction amongst divorce lawyers is that following self-imposed confinement it is very likely that the divorce rate will rise."Our peak times are after long exposure during the summer holidays and over Christmas."One only has to imagine what i…

At Least 23 People Dead in Australia Bushfires As Blazes Continue Raging

SYDNEY (AP) — A father and son who were battling flames for two days are the latest victims of the worst wildfire season in Australian history, and the path of destruction widened in at least three states Saturday due to strong winds and high temperatures.The death toll in the wildfire crisis is now up to 23 people, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after calling up about 3,000 reservists to battle the escalating fires, which are expected to be particularly fierce throughout the weekend.“We are facing another extremely difficult next 24 hours,” Morrison said at a televised news conference. “In recent times, particularly over the course of the balance of this week, we have seen this disaster escalate to an entirely new level.”Dick Lang, a 78-year-old acclaimed bush pilot and outback safari operator, and his 43-year-old son, Clayton, were identified by Australian authorities after their bodies were found Saturday on a highway on Kangaroo Island. Their family said their losses left them…

Data-obsessed Brits spend an entire WEEK per year 'analysing their lives with gadgets', survey suggests

DATA driven Brits spend the equivalent of a WHOLE WEEK of each year tracking and analysing their behaviour, according to research.A survey of 2,000 adults revealed we typically use analytical apps and devices to monitor six parts of our lives.More than half (51 per cent) monitor their steps and movement, with 39 per cent tracking their fitness and 34 per cent regularly monitoring their heart rate.And one quarter of adults use apps to see how much sleep they get each night.But according to a new survey, commissioned to encourage the use of smart meters in UK homes during Big Energy Saving Week and beyond, three quarters (76 per cent) of Brits admit they haven’t the foggiest how much energy they use at home.In total, adults spend 30 minutes every day checking their health, behaviour and finances on apps and devices – the equivalent of 183 hours or seven-and-a-half days per year.A quarter like to track areas of their life because it inspires them to improve, while 22 per cent say it make…