Despite pressure from shareholders, JPMorgan will not disclose full carbon footprint
May 21, 2020 | America’s largest bank avoids calls from shareholders to disclose all of its issues, despite warnings from its own economists that “catastrophic” climate change could end up threatening human life “as we know it”.
JPMthe Chase organ, a coalition of we environmental groups recently claims is the world’s largest fossil fuel financier, instructed its shareholders to vote against a proposal for the bank to report on emissions from its lending activities at its next annual general meeting (AGM) on May 19.
Now eight treasurers we states join call for JPMto elect an independent chairman of the board who will guide the financing of the company to align with the Paris Agreement.
The bank has also faced pressure from shareholders this year to encourage Lee raymond, old CEO of ExxonMobil, to remain as a member of JPMorgan council. Exxon has given tens of millions of dollars to organizations that question anthropogenic climate change, including under Raymond, who later this year to resign to lead JPMorgan council, but remain administrator. The group of state treasurers are also opposed to keeping Raymond on the board.
We must face financial and climate risks to @JP Morgan associated with fossil fuels.
That’s why we vote ‘no’ on Lee Raymond – his excessive tenure, his denial of climate change, and his connection to fossil fuels prove he cannot be an independent director.https://t.co/g7e4Xzdr9i
– Scott M. Stringer (@NYCComptroller) April 22, 2020
“As part of a larger plan for the bank to seriously tackle the risks climate change poses to investors, Raymond should consider stepping down from the board altogether, ”the state treasurer said. from Maryland, Nancy Kopp, in a statement. Kopp and the state treasurers of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin joined in the efforts of the treasurer of Pennsylvania, the controllers of New York and the New York State, and the California Public Employee Retirement Program to lobby JPMbody on its climate governance.
Shareholders pushing JPMclimate organ
While JPMorgan touts the “leadership role” that he claims to have taken to meet “the challenges and opportunities of a carbon-constrained environment”, climate activist shareholders are asking him to publish “if and how” he plans to align his investments on Paris Agreement targets and whether it plans to set emission reduction targets for its loans. More and more activist shareholders used the AGMs fossil fuel companies and their funders pushing for climate action from within.
JPMthe body currently only publishes emissions produced by the bank’s own operations, with its first “report on climate change” published last year by stating that it was “focused on defining and getting the right data” on the “climate risk” of its customers but that it was in the “early stages of this journey.”
Another proposal to consider during the AGM next week, highlighted by Trillium Asset Management, a Boston-based company that focuses on socially responsible investing, urges the bank to explain how it intends to respond to “growing reputation risks” associated with its investments in controversial Canadian oil sands and oil and gas companies operating in the Arctic.
JPMorgan ad in February, that it would stop funding companies involved in thermal coal and new arctic oil and gas development, while increasing its funding for renewable energy.
In the last 3 years @Hunting loaned $ 196 billion to the fossil fuel industry; if you look at the worst projects, they loaned 63% more than anyone else. They are the Doomsday bankhttps://t.co/bYwZQdYiSA
– Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) February 24, 2020
But Trillium’s proposal argues that the bank is the “world’s largest lender and underwriter” of the 30 largest companies already operating in the Arctic, as well as the 34 largest companies involved in Canada’s oil sands.
The bank’s board of directors is advise shareholders to vote against the two motions, in a move that activists say puts them at odds with their American peers.
A recent report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) mentionned JPMthe body had become “the first bank to exceed a quarter of a trillion dollars in fossil fuel financing after Paris, with $ 269 billion in 2016-2019”.
RANThe latter’s findings galvanized shareholder calls for banks to phase out fossil fuels, activists stressing RANresearch of push for change JPMorgans AGM.
Bank resists ‘moderate’ carbon footprint proposal
Danielle Fugere, chair of shareholder advocacy group As You Sow, which tabled the carbon disclosure proposal, told DeSmog: “What we’re asking them to do is measure, disclose and set a objective to align with Paris. ”
“We are asking for it not only because climate change poses a risk to the bank, but because it poses a systemic risk to shareholders. “
“A lot we banks are waiting for the emergence of a perfect system so that they start measuring climate risk – if they wait for that, it will be too late – we are really trying to get them to go faster than they think necessary ” , she added.
Yet in a position which, according to Fugère, is out of step, even with his fellow American investment banks, JP Morgan has resisted what she calls a “moderate” proposal to commit to and report on a plan to reduce the so-called “funded emissions” produced by the companies she lends to.
“The global financial system has a small window of opportunity to reduce funding for high carbon activities or risk catastrophic levels of carbon. #global warming. Banks no longer have free passes to finance high carbon activities. ” @Danielle_Fugerehttps://t.co/ofJuUv61DS
– As you sow (@AsYouSow) March 12, 2020
Defending its current approach to climate change in response to the proposal, JPMthe body maintains that it provides “transparent disclosure of our approach and performance in matters of environment, society and governance (ESG) topics across multiple channels ”and“ supports public sector leadership to help reduce carbon emissions globally. “
In response to the proposal on oil and gas developments in the Arctic and the Canadian oil sands, JPMThe body underscored its recent commitment to end project funding for new arctic developments and said arctic and oil sands developments were “sensitive areas” and therefore subject to “scrutiny”. in-depth ”by its global environmental and social risk management team.
Alison Kirsch, researcher for RAN, told DeSmog that their research showed TC Energy, the infrastructure company formerly known as TransCanada that is building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, was the bank’s “biggest fossil fuel customer” between 2016 and 2019. TC Energy’s announcement in March of the continuation of the project, designed to transport oil from Canada’s tar sands region to we refineries, JPMthe body led a $ 1.25 billion bond issue for TC Energy, with the multinational bank Citi.
Kirsch called JPMThe organ’s announcement in the Arctic “little potatoes in light of what it needs to do to stop being a climate villain.”
As You Sow’s Fugere argues, the bank’s gradual shift in fossil fuel financing is leaving it behind the curve. Over the past year, As You Sow has studied the investments of five we and filed similar shareholder proposals with Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America.
These banks appeared to change to meet shareholder demands, Fugère said, leading the group to withdraw their motions, “because these banks agreed to begin the process of finding an appropriate method to measure their carbon footprint.”
JPMThe Chase organ, on the other hand, resists such pressure before its AGM and instead order its shareholders to vote against the proposal.
Eli Kasargod-Staub, co-founder of nonprofit shareholder activist Majority Action, says JPMThe body’s next shareholders’ meeting will be a “litmus test” for big asset managers like Vanguard and BlackRock, who together own nearly 15% of the shares, to see if they are truly committed to their promises on the body. climate change.
JPMThe body declined to comment for this article when approached by DeSmog.