Investors at top US banks refuse to back climate proposals

Investors declined to back decisions that demanded stricter funding policies for fossil fuels at three major U.S. banks on Tuesday, which hit environmentalists in the hope of exerting more pressure on lenders on climate issues.

Proposals submitted by Wells Fargo, Bank of America and City have called on banks to align their fossil fuel financing policies with achieving zero net emissions by 2050, ensuring that funding does not contribute to a “new fossil fuel supply”.

But the decisions were only supported by about 11% of the shareholders in Wells Fargo and the Bank of America and less than 13% in Citi.

Similar proposals have been made at other U.S. banks, including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase. All six lenders have signed to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, which requires them to neutralize their portfolios by the middle of the century. The NZBA is run by Mark Carney, the former central bank governor of England, who was the UN special envoy for climate action and funding in Glasgow last November.

The climate impacts of lending and underwriting activities of large banks are More and more testing, With pressure coming from shareholders, activists and celebrities.

At Tuesday’s annual general meetings, the bank’s CEOs addressed a number of questions regarding issues related to climate change on the part of shareholders.

Asked if BofA would commit to ending its ties with fossil fuel companies that refuse to adhere to a policy that would limit climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius, CEO Brian Moynihan said that while the bank will work with customers to help them move towards that. ” their”.

Jane Fraser, CEO of Citigroup, said that while the bank recognized emissions from fossil fuel sectors “must be reduced”, “the global economy cannot” shut down the fossil fuel economy overnight “.

“The transition needs to be accelerated, but it also needs to be managed to minimize the shock to our economy and communities,” Fraser said.

However, the American Environment Group Sierra Club, which has submitted climate proposals to major US banks including Wells Fargo, said the decisions had received “unprecedented” support, even though they did not pass.

Adele Sherman, who works on Sierra Club’s fossil fuel financing campaign, said it was “very disappointing” that large asset managers did not use their power to charge banks responsible for their climate promises. But a “clear signal” was sent to Wall Street.

“The big banks have a responsibility to address their huge contribution to the climate crisis and protect their shareholders from climate risks by aligning their policies with their net zero commitments and ending support for fossil fuel expansion,” Sherman said. “The pressure on them to do so on the part of shareholders and the public is only getting stronger.”

New York State’s $ 280 billion pension fund earlier this month supported proposals submitted by all three banks. The fund called on shareholders to support these decisions because “financial institutions have a key role to play in reducing the global economy’s carbon footprint and addressing the systemic risks posed by climate change.”

Investors at top US banks refuse to back climate proposals Source link Investors at top US banks refuse to back climate proposals

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