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JPMorgan Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions in Lending Portfolios

(Bloomberg) —

JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest funder of fossil-fuel companies globally, is pledging a 35% reduction in “operational carbon intensity” for its oil and gas portfolio by the end of this decade.

The commitment is among steps announced Thursday by the largest U.S. bank, which agreed last year to align its financing activities with the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement. The firm said that it aims to cut carbon intensity by 41% for new-vehicle manufacturing and tailpipe emissions, and 69% in its electric-power portfolio. Carbon intensity is a measure of carbon in emissions generated by industrial activity.

“Our targets reflect our view of how we think industries will need to continue to do more of what they’re doing but also do more to get on a path to reducing emissions,” Marisa Buchanan, JPMorgan’s global head of sustainability, said in an interview. “We will have the opportunity to potentially adjust the amount of financing we provide, depending on decisions we may make around the extent we feel like certain clients are on a viable pathway.”

Banks have issued a flurry of climate-related announcements in recent weeks amid calls by the White House for businesses to do more to curb pollution. Last month, JPMorgan set a goal to finance $2.5 trillion initiatives that combat climate change and advance sustainable development, including $1 trillion for projects that bolster cleaner energy sources, over the next 10 years.

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The firm also said Thursday that it achieved operational carbon neutrality last year, and outlined steps it will take to continue advancing its own sustainability. Among them, by 2025 JPMorgan will transition its fleet of owned vehicles to electric and reduce office paper use by 90% from its 2017 level.

“JPMorgan Chase is committed to doing its part by working with clients around the world to reduce emissions and by ensuring our own operations remain carbon neutral,” Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said in the statement.

(Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, has committed $500 million to launch Beyond Carbon, a campaign aimed at closing the remaining coal-powered plants in the U.S. by 2030 and slowing the construction of new gas plants.)

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