JPMorgan to Halt Lending to Some Coal Plants and Arctic Drillers

(Bloomberg) -- JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, tightened its policy on fossil-fuel financing as the banking industry responds to growing pressure from activists.

  • The bank will no longer advise or lend to companies that get the majority of their revenue from the extraction of coal, and that it will exit existing credit exposure to those companies by 2024, the company said in a statement ahead of its investor day.

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  • It also vowed to stop financing coal-fired power plants unless they’re using carbon capture and sequestration technology, and said it won’t provide project financing for new oil and gas developments in the Arctic. The bank says the tweaks are part of a plan to support “market demand for and transition to cleaner sources of energy.”
  • Environmental activists have been pressuring JPMorgan to divest from the fossil fuel industry and some are calling on shareholders to remove Lee Raymond, a longtime climate skeptic and the former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., from the bank’s board.
  • Last year, in a similar move, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. pledged to turn down financing that supports new coal mines and upstream Arctic oil exploration.

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  • The bank’s asset management unit is also planning to engage with companies more around five priorities, including climate change.

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