Wells Fargo Last of the 6 U.S. Megabanks to Issue Long-Term Climate Commitment; Climate Advocates Call for 2021 Action to Match 2050 Pledge

Responding to Wells Fargo’s “net zero by 2050” commitment today, Paddy McCully, Climate and Energy Program Director with Rainforest Action Network, issued the following statement. 

“2050 commitments can only be taken as good faith efforts to address climate change if they’re matched by restrictions on fossil fuels and deforestation in 2021. The climate crisis demands action now, not in a generation’s time.

“RAN research shows that Wells Fargo was the world’s second worst banker of fossil fuels between 2016 and 2019, and the worst banker of fracking between 2016 and the end of August 2020. 

“Wells Fargo also has the weakest policies on coal among the major US banks.

“To match what the UN’s climate scientists say is necessary to stay under 1.5°C of warming, Wells Fargo’s net zero pledge must include targets for its lending and underwriting for coal, oil and gas that put it on a path to at least halving its financed emissions by 2030. To achieve this it must immediately stop financing fossil fuel expansion — there is no room in the carbon budget for building new fossil infrastructure like the Line 3 pipeline which is designed to keep pumping carbon for decades to come.”

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.