JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic

JPMorgan Chase to stop loans for fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic
© Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase has announced plans to stop approving loans to companies pursuing new fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic Circle.

The announcement follows a similar step taken by Goldman Sachs and pressure from Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups.

The bank also said it will complete its 2017 commitments to facilitate $200 billion in clean energy financing and source renewable energy for all of its needs by the end of this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

It also plans to phase out all existing and future loans to companies that get the majority of their revenue from coal mining by 2024.

The plan was met with mixed reviews from environmental groups.

An analysis from the Sierra Club and the Rainforest Action Network knocked it for only covering companies that get a majority of their revenue from coal mining and for not restricting oil and gas financing outside the Arctic.

"Three of the top ten coal miners in the world, by annual production, could still be financed under this policy," the analysis said.

Sierra Club campaign representative Ben Cushing said in a statement that the announcement on Arctic Refuge drilling puts the spotlight on other banks.

“The fact that even the world’s worst fossil fuel banker wants nothing to do with Arctic Refuge drilling shows just how toxic an investment it would be," Cushing said. “Now that Chase and Goldman Sachs have drawn a line in the sand, all eyes are on Wells Fargo, Citi, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America. Who will be the last to recognize that financing drilling in the Arctic is an expensive risk that’s not worth taking?”

The company's Investor Day announcement follows recent letters from dozens of Democratic lawmakers urging several banks, including JPMorgan, to not fund drilling in the Arctic.

Updated at 10:58 a.m.