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Just this week, the company launched a wildly misleading attack on the Green New Deal, asserting that its goals of rapidly decarbonizing the U.S. economy “are not in the realm of the possible.”
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According to a report by the Sierra Club and other leading environmental groups, however, JPMorgan Chase has provided a staggering $196 billion dollars in financing for fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion since the December 2015 Paris Agreement, in which 200 nations unanimously agreed to leave most fossil fuels in the ground.
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Just before the Paris deal, JPMorgan Chase signed a statement with Bank of America, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and other big financial companies embracing the need for strong action. “Our institutions are committing significant resources toward financing climate solutions,” the statement read.
But since the Paris Agreement, those institutions have devoted $700 billion in financing to fossil fuel expansion, including coal mining, coal power, the tar sands, and oil drilling in remote locations like the Arctic — the very things that are destroying our livable climate the fastest.
In 2017, Dimon also said he “absolutely” disagrees with President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the historic climate deal. However, this week’s report shows that JPMorgan Chase has since become the leading banker of fossil fuels and fossil fuel expansion.
You didnt think such a costly, ambitious undertaking designed to steer us out of climate-induced disaster would just pass quietly through the night, did you? Of course not. Every TV pundit, blogger and sentient being with a Twitter account not only has an opinion on the Green New Deal, they have a take. The left maintains that only a plan as sweeping as the Green New Deal will save us. Several prominent Democrats have been quick to deride the plan as unrealistic, in no small part because many of them are backed by the fossil fuel industry. The right, of course, is predictably hysterical. At a rally in Texas, Trump immediately declared the proposal a massive government takeover.
Indeed, the banking report finds that the company is responsible for $1 out of every $10 of fossil fuel financing provided by the 33 major global banks it tracked. JPMorgan Chases funding of fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure ranks in 68 percent higher than second place Citibank.
Both Dimon and JPMorgan Chase have spent this week trashing the Green New Deal, a non-binding resolution aimed at developing a plan consistent with the dire nature of current climate science.
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Scientists say Ocasio-Cortezs dire climate warning is spot on Michael Mann: There is no scenario for stabilizing warming below 2°C that doesnt require rapid reductions in carbon emissions over the next decade.
On Monday, Michael Cembalest, chief investment officer at JP Morgan Asset Management, published the company’s annual energy paper, titled, “Mountains and Molehills: Achievements and Distractions on the Road to Decarbonization.”
The paper criticizes the Green New Deal, claiming it “mandates zero net emissions for the US by 2030 for the entire energy sector (not just from electricity generation), and does so while phasing out nuclear power and relying heavily on carbon sequestration by forests.”
In fact, the Green New Deal is a “nonbinding” resolution, as its leading proponent, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), tweeted Wednesday.
The resolution calls for full decarbonization of the electricity sector alone by 2030, while calling for decarbonization of other sectors like transportation over the next decade “as much as is technologically feasible.”
I hope she gets a really good science policy advisor, Bahcall told Yahoo Finances The Final Round. Obviously shes kind of new to politics. But I was talking about a very specific point, which is that federal research helps the economy. So if you just focus on drugs or pharmaceuticals… you miss the point.
Meanwhile, the resolution is completely silent on nuclear power, and carbon sequestration is one of many strategies offered.
Despite this, Cembalest concluded this week that the deal’s goals were “not a useful foundation for a serious policy discussion.”
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Given JPMorgan Chase’s vast financing of fossil fuels, the worlds worst banker of climate change appears poorly positioned to criticize any resolution that takes seriously the Paris goal of keeping total warming “well below 2°C” (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
In an interview with CNN Tuesday, Dimon was dismissive of the Green New Deal, saying “I don’t spend much time worrying about things I can’t effectuate.” He also questioned the approach, “Can you focus on climate change in an intelligent way that doesnt damage the economy?”
Dimon, of course, can’t “effectuate” a carbon tax. And the one thing the JPMorgan Chase executive could effectuate — stopping his bank from financing the destruction of the climate — he has chosen not to do.