Climate groups respond to Climate Finance Day announcements at COP26

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 3, 2021
Contact: Jackie Fielder,  [email protected]com

Climate groups respond to Climate Finance Day announcements at COP26

Stop the Money Pipeline organizations respond to Morgan Stanley’s new 2030 targets, the British Treasury’s new requirements

GLASGOW — Today, private and public institutions released new net zero targets and strategies on “Climate Finance Day” at COP26.
  • Morgan Stanley announced new 2030 targets to reach its commitment to net-zero financed emissions by 2050, including goals for 29 and 58 percent reductions in “financed emissions lending intensity” from the bank’s energy and power portfolios, respectively, by 2030 (Sierra Club and RAN statement here)

  • The British Treasury will have new requirements for firms to publish net zero transition and decarbonization plans in alignment with the goals of the Paris Agreement (Stop the Money Pipeline release here)

  • At least 20 countries have agreed to stop funding fossil fuel projects abroad

  • Several major UK banks have signed up to the Power Past Coal Alliance, committing to end the world’s dependence on coal

Activists in Glasgow unfurled a 70-foot banner reading “Code Red for Humanity” on the street in front of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, where representatives from financial institutions were set to meet. More activists joined a rally demanding that the financial sector defund climate chaos. The protest came a day after more than 200 activists shut down a street outside of JP Morgan’s Glasgow offices to protest the bank’s investments in fossil fuels.
Today’s announcements came a day after the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero announced it had $130 trillion now committed, which members of STMP criticized for ignoring fossil fuel financing.
Member organizations of the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition released the following statements in reaction to the news:
“It is encouraging to see Morgan Stanley acknowledge that fossil fuels need to be significantly reduced by 2050,” said Alison Kirsch, Research and Policy Manager at Rainforest Action Network. “However, Morgan Stanley’s targets sidestep the IEA’s key finding that net zero means no fossil fuel expansion. It’s past time for intensity-only targets. We need absolute emissions cuts and clear client criteria: no support for companies expanding fossil fuels and a clear date for requiring clients to exit the sector.”
“It is disappointing to see Morgan Stanley following in Chase’s footsteps by implementing targets that are based on carbon intensity measures rather than their overall emissions,” said Alec Connon, Stop the Money Pipeline Coalition Coordinator. “Using carbon intensity as the measurement for action allows Morgan Stanley to continue increasing its funding of the fossil fuel sector and is not the solution we need. Banks using carbon intensity metrics should be called what it is: greenwashing.”

“When our grandkids look back at this critical tipping point and ask what we did, do the institutions that fund climate crisis think greenwashing and largely toothless policies will suffice?” said Tara Houska, tribal attorney and founder of Giniw Collective. “Net-zero commitments while *still funding fossil fuel expansion* is like throwing a bucket of water on one side of a burning building while splashing more gas on the other side. The world’s major financiers are largely sticking to entrenched industry bottom lines — the bottom line of climate disaster is far, far worse.”

 

“We can not continue to ignore the biggest elephants in the room: Fossil fuel companies. There is no mention of the F words at all in this new declaration from the Net Zero clubs. We can not keep under 1.5 degrees if financial institutions don’t stop funding coal, oil and gas companies particularly those actively applying for and building new fossil fuel infrastructure like coal mines, tar sands pipelines and deep sea drilling. These commitments by private finance, including the world’s largest fossil fuel financiers, seem more like smoke and mirrors than real climate action.” Richard Brooks, Climate Finance Director Stand.earth. Stand.earth manages the Global Divestment Commitments Database. Nearly 1500 institutions with assets over $39 trillion have committed to some form of fossil fuel divestment.

The Stop the Money Pipeline coalition is a coalition of more than 175 organizations working to hold the financial backers of climate chaos accountable. 
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