Goldman Follows Rivals in Setting Net-Zero Emissions Targets

Three days after new Citigroup Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jane Fraser outlined a net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions target, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon is following suit.

Goldman is joining rivals in pledging to achieve the goal in its financing activities by 2050, and for supply chains by 2030, Solomon said Thursday in a letter posted on the bank’s website. The bank has also joined the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Banking, a group of 217 firms that agreed to align their businesses with global efforts to address climate change and other sustainability issues.

Solomon said Goldman will set interim business-related climate targets by the end of the year.

“Though we’ve made progress on our sustainable finance goals, one thing is clear: To make even further progress, collaboration is vital, especially in the short term,” Solomon said in the letter. “We encourage business leaders from all industries to join these collective efforts.”

U.S. banks, which are the biggest financiers of fossil-fuel companies, have lagged behind some of their European counterparts in addressing global warming. JPMorgan Chase & Co. was the biggest financier of fossil fuels last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Goldman ranks 17th.

Environmental advocates have argued that many of the finance industry’s net-zero targets are set too far ahead and don’t mention any plans to stop financing fossil fuels.

Goldman at the end of 2019 said it was targeting $750 billion for “climate transition and inclusive growth finance” over the coming decade. Solomon said the bank has already reached $156 billion of that total, including $93 billion focused on climate transition.

Goldman also joined a group called OS-Climate Initiative, which includes Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and London Stock Exchange Group Plc, to develop open-source climate data and tools, Solomon said. The bank also plans to add carbon accounting to its investment tool, Marquee, to help clients with their carbon footprints.

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