Goldman Sachs becomes largest US bank to commit to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

The bank now joins Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Citi in aligning its financing activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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Image Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson RTX17T1D

Goldman Sachs is the largest U.S. bank to announce a plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its financing activities by 2050 and for supply chains by 2030. The bank now joins Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Citi in aligning its financing activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Goldman Sachs’ announcement that it would achieve a net-zero pathway by advancing on three separate fronts:

  1. Develop more comprehensive climate data and to promote more thorough disclosure.
  2. Conduct an impact analysis of our firm’s activities and enhance our own emissions disclosures.
  3. Outline climate-risk considerations in business practices and business selection.

“We are committed to working with our clients, our industry peers, and the public sector to make this commitment a reality,” David Solomon, Goldman Sachs’ chairman and CEO. “And while long-term aspirations are important, business leaders must not lose sight of what we can do in the here and now to accelerate climate transition.”

Goldman Sachs also joined the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Banking, which is a group comprised of 217 firms that have all committed to aligning their businesses with a global effort to address climate change, Solomon said in a blog post.

According to data from Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs ranked seventeenth in financing fossil fuels last year.

Environmental advocates believe the net-zero commitments from banks are a good start, the “targets are set too far ahead and don’t mention any plans to stop financing fossil fuels,” Bloomberg reported.

“Commitments to achieve net zero financed emissions by 2050 have become the new minimum standard for climate action on Wall Street,” Ben Cushing, Sierra Club financial advocacy campaign manager, said. “While it’s good to see Goldman Sachs headed in the right direction, the firm must recognize that mitigating its role in the climate crisis and aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement demands stronger immediate action. Goldman Sachs and other banks should take steps now to meet these goals by not financing further fossil fuel expansion and setting a timeline for phasing out fossil fuel financing overall.”

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