October 25, 2021

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Bank of America and Citigroup CEOs signal Wall Street’s interest in climate issues

Bank of America and Citigroup CEOs signal Wall Street's interest in climate issues

Wall Street secured a front row seat at President Biden’s climate summit.

Because matter: Banks, as funding gateways for other businesses, could help set the tone for the rest of American companies. They are facing pressure – from world leaders, from the United Nations, from activists, you name it – to play their most important role in greening the global economy.

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Driving the news: Bank of America and Citigroup CEOs appeared at the summit on Thursday, a nod to the role the administration sees banks play in its endeavors.

  • “Net zero [emissions] it’s very easy to say, but it will be hard to do. Make no mistake about this, it’s going to be really hard, ”said Citi’s Jane Fraser.

  • The White House has not yet imposed anything on the climate front on the private sector, although regulators could move on to make disclosure of climate risk mandatory.

Background: Financial giants this week joined the industry’s largest climate change effort to date, Axios’ Ben Geman reports.

  • Some banks have individually stated that their operations, including those it finances, will reach net zero emissions by 2050.

  • This alliance backed by the United Nations creates a common global framework for tracking and verifying these emissions. In particular, some banks did not join, as Politco reports.

What they are saying: “This is a good business opportunity. We are not doing it because we are being intimidated,” a bank executive involved in his climate effort alliance told Axios.

Yes, goal: Climate activists want banks to get even bigger. Specifically, they want banks to stop funding fossil fuels. The new alliance stops before asking.

Read on Axios’ Felix Salmon because greed is greenSee the new climate promises.

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