JPMorgan stops lending to coal companies

Bulldozer moving coal. Stock Image.

JPMorgan Chase will no longer lend to coal companies, and will limit financing to companies drilling in the arctic, the company announced Tuesday at its annual investor day in San Franciso.

The bank remained the largest funder of fossil fuels despite long-standing climate protests, and faced years of criticism from environmentalists for its relationships with fossil-fuel companies, scrutiny it has sought to avoid at events like its annual shareholder meeting.

JP’s announcement follows similar commitments made by some European banks and by Goldman Sachs, the first US bank to announce such limits on fossil fuel funding.

The bank faced years of criticism from environmentalists for its relationships with fossil-fuel companies, scrutiny it has sought to avoid at its annual shareholder meeting

This year, JPMorgan is facing climate-related shareholder proposals, including a resolution from climate change advocacy group As You Sow requesting that the company measure and reduce its carbon-intensive lending in line with the Paris 1.5 degree goal.

“As climate change increasingly impacts the economy, investors are asking their companies to take greater responsibility for transitioning their businesses to thrive in a low-carbon economy. JPMorgan Chase is a lynchpin in that transition,” Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow said in a media release.

JPMorgan said it will facilitate $200 billion of transactions in 2020 that “support climate action” and advance the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Those transactions are expected to be a mix of loans, underwriting, advisory services and investments, and will include $50 billion of financing for green initiatives, Reuters reported.

(With files from Reuters)

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