Story at a glance

  • The bank announced on Monday it is aiming to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Wells Fargo joins several other major financial institutions that have made similar commitments.
  • The move comes as financial institutions and large corporations have faced increasing pressure to do their part in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the climate crisis.

Wells Fargo is the latest of the nation’s six largest banks to commit to becoming carbon neutral over the next several decades. 

The bank announced on Monday it is aiming to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, joining other major financial institutions such as Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America in setting corporate policy initiatives that support the goals of the Paris climate accord. 


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The international agreement has a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. 

“Climate change is one of the most urgent environmental and social issues of our time, and Wells Fargo is committed to aligning our activities to support the goals of the Paris Agreement and to helping transition to a net zero carbon economy,” Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf said in a statement

“The risks of not taking action are too great to ignore, and collective action is needed to avoid the significant impact on our most vulnerable communities.” 

To accomplish the ambitious goal, Wells Fargo says it will measure and disclose financed emissions for select carbon-intensive portfolios, set interim emission reduction goals, invest more capital to finance climate innovation and work with clients on their emission reduction efforts. Doing so will be no easy task, as Wells Fargo is heavily invested in oil, gas and coal projects, operations climate activists warn threaten the planet. 

As for its own carbon footprint, the bank claims it achieved carbon neutrality in its operations in 2019. 

The move comes as financial institutions and large corporations have faced increasing pressure to do their part in reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that are driving the climate crisis.


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Published on Mar 09, 2021