Goldman Sachs Latest Major Bank to Issue ‘Net Zero by 2050’ Climate Commitment; RAN Responds

Today, Goldman Sachs announced a commitment to align its “financing activities with a net zero by 2050 pathway,” including by setting “interim business-related climate targets by the end of 2021.” 

Jason Opeña Disterhoft, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner with Rainforest Action Network, said:

“Goldman Sachs becomes the latest major U.S. bank to admit to its responsibility to zero out emissions by midcentury and reinforce a long-term sell-by date for the fossil fuel industry. Goldman’s interim targets must match the UN IPCC’s finding that global emissions must be halved by 2030 to keep warming under 1.5°C. These targets must also include commitments to stop supporting expansion of fossil fuels.

“With skepticism about the ‘net’ in ‘net zero’ growing, Goldman’s participation in the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets means that it will face particular scrutiny to disavow offset schemes like huge tree plantations on Indigenous lands that violate rights and simply serve as excuses to continue fossil fuel business as usual.

“Wells Fargo is now in the spotlight as the major U.S. bank with by far the worst fossil fuel policies, as well as lacking any overall long-term commitment.” 

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.