Report: Big banks back big pollution

Oct. 31, 2012 at 7:23 AM
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SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- The Rainforest Action Network said major U.S. banks, while embracing a green business model, continue to invest in polluting energy resources.

A report from the advocacy group stated that while major U.S. banks have taken strides to reduce the environmental footprint from branches and corporate offices, they've done little to curb investments in conventional energy resources such as coal.

"Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have begun to disrupt the global climate, triggering extreme weather events around the globe," Ben Collins, a campaigner for Rainforest Action Network, said in a statement. "To address this growing climate crisis, the global economy must rapidly transition to low-carbon energy sources that can power our future."

The Rainforest Action Network points to JPMorgan Chase, which has close ties to major emitter Duke Energy while setting a benchmark of cutting its own emissions by 80 percent of their 2005 levels by 2012. JPMorgan, in a 2010 report, said it's invested more than $380 million in wind energy projects in the United States.

The Rainforest Action Network report calls on major banks to "disclose comprehensive financed emissions data and commit to financed emissions reduction targets of at least 3.9 percent per year."

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