Boston Common Asset Management welcomes JPMorgan’s new climate commitments: expanded lending restrictions to coal mining and the coal-fired power sector, and a prohibition on financing new oil and gas development in the Arctic. We are pleased to see the additional commitment to facilitate $200 billion of financing support in 2020, for climate action and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. At the same time, we call on the Bank, whom we have engaged for over a decade on climate risk, to go further. Specifically we hope to see the bank adopt a clear strategy for decarbonizing its balance sheet, including clear timelines for restrictions and phase-outs of financing for fossil fuels and deforestation. We also ask them to set explicit targets to increase the proportion of sustainable finance commitments relative to their overall financing activities.
As our 2019 Banking on a Low Carbon Future: Finance in a Time of Climate Crisis highlighted, while there has been an explosion of risk assessment tools and green banking industry initiatives in recent years, this has had little impact on banks’ commercial behavior including the expansion of fossil fuel financing. We are now facing a climate crisis, and global emissions are not expected to peak by 2030. The time for incremental change is over.
Lauren Compere, Managing Director and author of the 2019 report states “As stewards of capital, we call for boards and managements to take on much more ambitious, decisive change. This is necessary to manage the significant, imminent risks of climate-related changes affecting all businesses and assets they finance. We urge banks to finance and benefit from the significant opportunities in society’s transition to a low-carbon future.”
The information in this article should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security.