JP Morgan Chase bank, the world’s number-one provider of finance to the fossil fuels industry, has vowed to “work to accelerate the power sector’s shift to low- and zero-carbon sources, like solar and wind” and reduce the carbon intensity of its power portfolio by 69% by 2030.
The US company announced on Thursday it will also source at least 70% of its own power needs from on-site renewables and off-site long-term renewable energy contracts by 2025, while it will also ensure that all of its company-owned vehicles are electric by the same date.
However, its carbon targets for oil and gas finance are far less ambitious — particularly as the bank provided a world-leading $317 billion of finance to the fossil fuels industry between 2016 and 2020.
JP Morgan wants to reduce the end-use carbon intensity of its oil and gas investments by only 15% by 2030 — a figure that appears to include renewables, despite having separate goals for the power sector.
This target reflects “a decrease in emissions from the combustion of oil and natural gas downstream and increase in renewable energy generation”, it said.
By choosing “carbon intensity” as its metric, the bank could still increase the overall greenhouse gas emissions from its oil and gas portfolio over this period.
The bank also pledged to reduce the “operational carbon intensity” from its oil and gas investments by 35% by 2030, by helping the industry to reduce methane emissions and flaring.
Elsewhere, the bank vowed to reduce the carbon intensity from its vehicle manufacturing investments by 41% by 2030, by “work[ing] with clients to help accelerate the transition to electric vehicles”.
The financier claims that these targets put it in line with the Paris Agreement, and it adds that the company was carbon-neutral for the first time in 2020, after paying to offset all its greenhouse gas emissions.
Last month, JP Morgan said to aimed to provide up to $2.5 trillion of finance for companies and projects “to advance climate action and sustainable development”.
“Setting our Paris-aligned targets is an important step toward accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said chief executive Jamie Dimon.
“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.”
(This article first appeared in Upstream's sister renewable energy publication Recharge on 13 May, 2021.)