FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 24, 2019, 12:30pm PST
JPMorgan Chase today released a report based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), a body sponsored by the Bank of England and chaired by Michael Bloomberg. The TCFD has had a substantial impact upon how business and finance are responding to climate change. JPMorgan Chase is the second major U.S. bank after Citi to release a TCFD report.
The JPMorgan Chase TCFD report recognizes the overall severity of the climate crisis, yet prioritizes the world’s continued use of fossil fuels over the urgent need to set decarbonization targets while massively ramping up investments in the clean economy. The report completely fails to mention the urgent need to stop deforestation and restore ecosystems.
Patrick McCully, Climate and Energy Program Director of Rainforest Action Network said:
“While it is positive that JPMorgan Chase is finally admitting the severity of the climate crisis and the importance of keeping warming under 1.5° Celsius, this brief report fails to follow the TCFD’s actual recommendations. In particular, JPMorgan Chase has failed to disclose any data on their financing of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels and deforestation and any targets for reducing this finance. Overall this report is completely inadequate as a response to the TCFD, especially given JPMorgan Chase’s position as the world’s biggest banker of the climate crisis.”
“It is completely two-faced of Chase to recognize that climate change is a massive threat to the the planet, while it shovels far more money into fossil fuels each year than any other bank. Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and its board, headed by former Exxon CEO and arch-climate denier Lee Raymond, seem incapable of acting with the urgency that is necessary given their uniquely significant role in turbocharging the climate crisis. It’s time now for the bank’s shareholders to step in and demand action. A growing grassroots movement is already demanding that the bank phase out its support for fossil fuels.”
The TCFD calls on businesses to report on and analyze the many ways in which the clean energy transition and the impacts of the climate crisis may impact their bottom lines, how they are acting to manage these risks, and how their activities are contributing to the crisis. It includes specific guidance for how certain types of companies, including banks, should implement the recommendations. Among the information that banks are supposed to disclose is what specific measures the board and management are taking to oversee and manage climate risks; “significant concentrations of credit exposure to carbon-related assets”; what scenarios they are using to understand what risks they face from different climate impacts; “the amount and percentage of carbon-related assets relative to total assets”; and what is termed their “Scope 3” emissions, which would include the emissions due to the companies and projects they finance, and what are their targets for reducing these emissions.
The logic of the TCFD is that investors need to know what are the climate risks of the companies and financial institutions that they own, and that once they do they will act to pressure the worst climate offenders to change their ways.
While JPMorgan Chase’s TCFD report fails to disclose the emissions that they finance, it does “anticipate” that in future the bank will disclose their credit exposure to large producers and consumers of fossil fuels, “fine-tuned to reveal transition and physical impacts over time.” Such disclosures would be a step forward but credit exposure alone is an insufficient metric for climate impact as it does not cover significant financial services such as underwriting. Any disclosure of financed emissions must also include targets for reducing these emissions on a pathway aligned with keeping global warming under 1.5°C.
The Banking on Climate Change 2019 report published by Rainforest Action Network along with five other organizations shows that JPMorgan Chase is by far the world’s worst banker of the climate crisis. It has poured $196 billion into coal, oil and gas companies since the Paris Agreement was adopted — about 30% more than any other bank.