Citi Latest Bank to Issue 2050 “Net Zero” Climate Commitment; Climate Advocates Call for Immediate Action to Match Long-term Pledge

Responding to Citi’s climate announcement today, Jason Opeña Disterhoft, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, issued the following statement. 

“2050 commitments should only be taken seriously if they’re matched by new restrictions on fossils and deforestation in 2021. Citi is the worst banker of coal power outside of China, so matching global best practice by ending support for companies expanding coal is a clear litmus test. Citi’s full plan must include immediate cuts to its support for coal, oil and gas that put it on a path to at least halving its financed emissions by 2030. The climate will not give us a grace period while corporations get their ducks in a row, and no further analysis is necessary to know that ending support for fossil expansion will cut emissions.

“No bank can credibly build ‘net’ into a commitment so long as it continues to finance destruction of the world’s single most important carbon sink: its forests. Citi must match global best practice by implementing a No Deforestation, No Peatland, No Exploitation (NDPE) policy across its forest-risk sectors. 

“Today’s commitment acknowledges that Citi — the #3 fossil bank in the world — is a major emitter, and must completely decarbonize by mid-century, like all carbon majors. We welcome the affirmation of that overall direction of travel. Jane Fraser making a climate commitment on her historic first day as CEO is a sign of the success of the climate movement in elevating this issue for the world’s biggest financial companies.” 

The “Principles for Paris-Aligned Financial Institutions”, released in September 2020 by more than 60 climate and rights groups from around the world, offer criteria for financial institution alignment with 1.5°C, including fossil fuel, deforestation and financed emissions policies.