JPMorgan JPM-N said on Thursday it had set targets to cut emissions tied to its finance and deal making in the iron and steel, cement and aviation sectors, as those emissions linked to oil and gas usage rose.
As the largest U.S. bank and major funder to the fossil fuel industry, investors and campaigners keenly watch JPMorgan’s climate efforts as the world shifts to a low-carbon economy.
After releasing targets for oil and gas, electric power and autos in 2021, the new sector targets mean the bank now has plans to reduce emissions from all of the sectors most responsible for climate-damaging carbon emissions.
For iron and steel, the bank said it aims to cut emissions per tonne of crude steel produced by 31 per cent by 2030. For cement it is targeting a 29 per cent cut and for aviation a cut of 36 per cent.
The bank said all the targets were in line with the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions (NZE) scenario.
Lucie Pinson, director of non-profit Reclaim Finance, welcomed the targets, but said “the jury is still out” on their effectiveness, with midterm targets not enough to get to net-zero emissions.
In a year marked by conflict in Ukraine and higher energy prices, CEO Jamie Dimon reiterated the need for energy security and the bank’s support to the oil and gas industry.
“Constraining the flow of capital needed to produce and move fuels, especially as the war in Ukraine rages on, is a bad idea. The world still needs oil and natural gas today.”
Updating on progress in the sector, the bank said while emissions tied to the operational performance of its clients was unchanged, those linked to the use of oil and gas had risen by 1 per cent as of June 30, 2022.
JPMorgan said the rise in emissions intensity – a measure of emissions per unit of output – was due to the bank’s clients producing a higher portion of oil than natural gas products in 2020, when the latest emissions data was collected.
However, Reclaim Finance said the bank’s update showed its oil and gas targets have “done nothing to change (the bank’s) unwavering support for the sector’s biggest fossil fuel developers.”