A group of institutional investors led by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander has co-filed a series of shareholder proposals asking banks in the U.S. and Canada to disclose absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions targets for 2030.
In a January 24 announcement, Lander said that he, along with the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the Teachers’ Retirement System, and the Board of Education Retirement System, had filed proposals at Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Royal Bank of Canada.
The proposals call for an absolute reduction target aligned with a science-based net-zero emissions pathway.
“Shareholders applauded these banks when they set net-zero goals – but it can’t be all talk. We expect them to take the steps needed now to reduce emissions on the timeline to which they have committed,” Lander said. “We are asking [the four banks] to follow the lead of their peers by setting and disclosing absolute, science-based targets for 2030, to show investors they are serious about reaching those goals. Absent a concrete plan to reduce absolute emissions in the real world in the near term, any net-zero plan rings hollow.”
The proposals filed at Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Royal Bank of Canada specifically request that the absolute GHG emissions targets cover lending and underwriting for oil and gas and power generation sectors.
In contrast, the proposal at Bank of America requests that the GHG emissions reduction targets cover lending and underwriting in the company’s energy sector.
Other consumer banks are further along in the process, with Citigroup having already committed to reducing its absolute emissions for the energy sector by 29% by 2030, and Wells Fargo having set a target to reduce absolute emissions for the oil and gas sector by 26% by 2030.