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Warren releases plan to regulate Wall Street's effect on climate change

Warren releases plan to regulate Wall Street's effect on climate change
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWorld passes 3 million coronavirus deaths Poll: 56 percent say wealth tax is part of solution to inequality Democratic senators call on Biden to support waiving vaccine patents MORE (D-Mass.) released a plan over the weekend that would aim to fight climate change by increasing regulations on fossil fuel financing.

Her plan comes as some banks in recent months have said they will not directly finance oil and gas drilling in the arctic, as Democratic lawmakers step up the pressure on these institutions and as her campaign has lagged in the crowded Democratic nomination contest.

As president, Warren says she would require banks to report how much fossil fuel equity and debt they create, direct credit agencies to impose a climate standard and appoint financial regulators who will hold financial institutions accountable for climate risks.

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The senator would also require major insurance companies to disclose the size of premiums they're getting from coal, oil and gas projects.

"I will act decisively and swiftly to manage the risk that climate change poses to our economy by reining in Wall Street and ensuring our banks, asset managers, and insurers pay the true cost of climate change instead of passing it on to millions of Americans," she said in an online post outlining the plan. "It’s time to stop Wall Street from financing the climate crisis."

Over the past few months, some financial institutions have backed away from certain fossil fuel projects.

Investment firm BlackRock has said that it would pull back from investments in coal while JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have said they will stop approving loans to companies pursuing new fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic. Wells Fargo has also said that it does not directly finance oil and gas projects in the Arctic. 

Democratic lawmakers have also written letters to several banks asking them to not finance drilling in this region. 

Warren has struggled to gain traction in the early-voting states. She has just eight delegates while rivals Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Energy: Treasury creates hub to fight climate change through finance | Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' | Don't attack Zoom for its Bernie Sanders federal tax bill Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez introduce 'Green New Deal for Public Housing' MORE (I-Vt.) and former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenObama, Clinton reflect on Mondale's legacy Biden, Harris commend Mondale in paving the way for female VP Mondale in last message to staff: 'Joe in the White House certainly helps' MORE have dozens. 

Her environmental plans have been consistently praised by green groups.