JP Morgan, the world’s largest financier of the fossil-fuel industry, announced yesterday that it will end fossil-fuel loans for Arctic oil drilling and phase out loans for coal mining.

Further, JP Morgan will offer $200 billion in environmental and economic development deals to help support green energy projects.

JP Morgan made the announcement at an investor meeting yesterday. The announcement follows a study commissioned by JP Morgan and sent to clients — which the bank said was wholly independent from the company — that stated [via the BBC]:

‘We cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened.’

Carbon emissions in the coming decades ‘will continue to affect the climate for centuries to come in a way that is likely to be irreversible,’ they said, adding that climate change action should be motivated ‘by the likelihood of extreme events.’

‘It is a global problem but no global solution is in sight,’ the report added.

Mother Jones reported in March 2019, “By far, JPMorgan Chase is the biggest funder among the 33 banks assessed, putting $196 billion into fossil fuels from 2016 through 2018. Its money represents 10%.”

Lee Raymond, JP Morgan Chase’s lead independent director, is the former CEO and Chair of ExxonMobil.

According to the Guardian:

JP Morgan’s coal finance restrictions will apply to companies whose primary business is coal mining, but could allow a loophole to continue financing conglomerates that earn less than half of their revenue from coal.

ShareAction, which promotes responsible investing, said JP Morgan’s new policy “is at best an anticlimax and at worst dangerously omissive of a huge part of the coal market.”

Electrek’s Take

JP Morgan has committed to being 100% renewable by this year and has made a big push on installing onsite solar on their own buildings. It joins Goldman Sachs, whose CEO called for a price on the cost of carbon and announced the curbing of funding fossil fuels in December.

But it falls short of BlackRock’s initiatives, who, as Electrek reported on January 16, “announced that it will no longer invest in thermal coal. It also said it will drop company directors who fail to act on financial risks from climate change.” BlackRock is the world’s largest investment manager.

As we often say: It’s good, but it’s not good enough. JP Morgan ought to listen to the economists it commissioned whose findings couldn’t have been clearer about the gravity of our climate crisis.

Photo: Bryan Parras/Sierra Club

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