Are Big Banks Fueling Global Warming?

The US flag flies over a PNC bank on October 29, 2008 in Washington, DC. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
National Journal
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Clare Foran
Feb. 6, 2014, 5:47 a.m.

In the latest front in the private sec­tor battle against cli­mate change, share­hold­ers are push­ing banks to dis­close lend­ing prac­tices that con­trib­ute to green­house-gas emis­sions.

The Wall Street Journ­al re­ports that in­vestors are in­creas­ingly fil­ing non­bind­ing res­ol­u­tions ask­ing fin­an­cial in­sti­tu­tions to in­crease trans­par­ency around loans to the fossil-fuel in­dustry. They are also ask­ing the banks to as­sess cli­mate-change risks re­lated to bor­row­ing and lend­ing.

The tac­tic ap­pears to be work­ing. “In­vestors last week with­drew a cli­mate-re­lated res­ol­u­tion filed with Cap­it­al One Fin­an­cial Corp., after it agreed to in­crease cli­mate-re­lated dis­clos­ures,” ac­cord­ing to the WSJ.

Oth­ers feel­ing the pres­sure in­clud­ing Bank of Amer­ica and PNC, a bank headquartered in Pitt­s­burgh, Pennsylvania, that has taken heat from some in­vestors for lend­ing to the com­pan­ies en­gaged in moun­tain­top-re­mov­al coal min­ing.


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