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The World’s Biggest Banks Are Making Earth Day Pledges

earth day, fossil fuels, eco-friendly, emissions
AntonMatyukha on Deposit Photos

Did you know that the world’s banks are some of the biggest funders of fossil fuels? According to Rainforest Action Network, banks contributed more than $3.8 trillion of fossil-fuel financing since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Citibank is one of the most significant funders of 100 companies with fossil fuel expansion plans, such as ExxonMobil. Wells Fargo is the top funder in fracked gas, with companies such as Pioneer Natural Resources. These giant banks have gotten a lot of heat. So, many of them have made Earth Day pledges to reduce emissions, be more sustainable and fund more clean initiatives. How does your bank spend your money?

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan has financed about $189 billion for fossil fuel companies since the 2015 Paris Climate agreement. For Earth Day, this bank set a goal to finance $2.5 trillion in initiatives to combat climate change and advance sustainable development over the next decade. They pledge to use cleaner energy sources and give their support to developing countries and economic inclusion projects.

It’s not a hard stop, as JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in a shareholder letter that “the solution is not as simple as walking away from fossil fuels.”

Citigroup Inc. 

This bank said it would back $1 trillion in eco-friendly initiatives by 2030. Half of this new project will go toward renewable energy, water conservation and sustainable agriculture. As for the rest, they’re trying to fund education, affordable housing, gender equality and racial and ethnic diversity.

“As the pandemic has made clear, our economic and physical health, our environment and our social stability are all inextricably linked,” Ed Skyler, Citigroup’s head of global public affairs, said.

Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero

The White House will host a climate change summit on Apr. 22-23. Mark Carney, adviser to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and former Bank of England governor, will unveil the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero. Thirty banks, possibly including Citigroup Inc., Barclays and HSBC Holdings Plc, will pledge to reach net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050, according to Bloomberg.

Some people don’t pay attention to their bank’s funding. Others want transparency and care about how their money is spent. Which are you? Let us know in the comments!

If you want to learn about your bank’s behind-the-scenes funding, check out this article.

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