Banking giant set to unveil beefed up climate investment policies at annual investor day
JP Morgan Chase is set to become the latest global banking giant to restrict lending to the most carbon intensive fossil fuel projects.
According to various media reports, the US investment bank will today use its annual investor to unveil a number of new climate policies, including restrictions on financing for coal and Arctic drilling projects.
The new rules would effectively end all investment in Arctic drilling projects by the bank and impose tough new criteria for financing companies involved in coal mining and coal power.
In addition, the company is set to announce a new $200bn target for investing in green projects that "support climate action" and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The new target builds on a previous 2017 pledge to mobilise $50bn of green financing. The investment activity is expected to include a mix of loans, underwriting, advisory services, and direct investments.
The move comes just days after JP Morgan sent a briefing note to clients highlighting potentially catastrophic risks arising from escalating climate impacts.
The plans received a cautious welcome from green groups, who hailed the new lending policy as further evidence of how coal and Arctic drilling projects are being shunned by mainstream investors. But they also warned that JP Morgan's wider climate strategy remains badly out of step with the decarbonisation goals contained in the Paris Agreement.
Jason Disterhoft, a climate and energy senior campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, told Reuters that JP Morgan Chase's coal mining financing represented less than one per cent of the company's overall fossil financing. "We need to see much more from them, particularly in terms of phasing out their fossil financing," he added.
However, Greenpeace UK's head of climate finance, Rosie Rogers, said the new commitments were part of an encouraging trend across the banking sector, adding that right across the industry banks should now step up efforts to phase out fossil fuel financing.
"Although JP Morgan Chase's decision to stop financing coal mining and Arctic drilling goes nowhere near far enough, it's a clear sign that mounting public and growing shareholder pressure is starting to cut through," she argued. "The banks propping up the fossil fuel industry are funding catastrophic climate change and even the dirtiest bank in the world is starting to feel the pressure."
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