In October, JPMorgan pledged to push clients towards aligning with the Paris Agreement, which aims to contain global temperatures rising to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue further efforts to ensure the rise is by only 1.5 degrees Celsius (a target experts warn is slipping out of reach.)
On the surface, the new policy sounds positive, but much needs to change. JPMorgan is the world’s largest financier of highly polluting sectors, according to the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), which measures finance to arctic oil and gas, fracking, coal mining and coal power, among others. The bank has lent over $268bn to fossil fuel companies between 2016 and 2019, after the Paris Agreement was signed.
As RAN’s climate and energy programme director Paddy McCully noted at the time of the announcement, "disastrous fires and hurricanes are happening in 2020 and we need to see action right now... If JPMorgan Chase is serious about aligning with the Paris accord, it must immediately stop financing expansion of fossil fuels and deforestation."