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Major US investment bank joins European peers with net-zero pledge

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Major US investment bank joins European peers with net-zero pledge

The ESG Insider newsletter compiles news and insights on environmental, social and governance developments driving change in business and investment decisions. Subscribe to our ESG Insider newsletter, and listen to the latest ESG Insider podcast on SoundCloud, Spotify and Apple podcasts.

Morgan Stanley has committed to net-zero emissions in its lending portfolio by 2050, a move that pushes the U.S. banking sector closer to European standard-bearers and further complicates the outlook for fossil fuel emitters looking for a loan.

With $20.12 billion in commitments to energy and utility companies, the investment banking giant only accounts for a small fraction of the fossil-fuel lending that the six largest U.S. banks do today — see our Chart of the Week for the breakdown. However, its commitment represents the latest step from the banking industry to back away from the heaviest fossil-fuel users.

"Fossil fuels do not have a future," said C.B. Bhattacharya, a professor of sustainability and ethics at the University of Pittsburgh. "Even banks, which are perennially slow to adapt to these things, they have woken up and have realized that it's now or never."

Chart of the Week

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Top Stories

Bank's new climate goals add to hurdles for fossil fuel producers, users
Morgan Stanley recently became the first major U.S. investment bank to pledge it would achieve a net-zero emission goal in its lending portfolio by 2050, in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

At odds with Biden's energy policy, Trump sees jump in oil and gas campaign cash

Executives, employees and other donors across the oil-and-gas sector are pumping their money into President Donald Trump's campaign with just weeks to go in the 2020 presidential race. According to data from the Center for Responsive Politics, Trump's campaign had received more than $12 million in donations from the industry as of Sept. 21.

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Brazil's Pride Bank pioneers as LGBTQ focused digital bank
In August, Pride Bank, a Brazil-based lender focused on serving the LGBTQ community, launched with a goal of attracting at least 1 million clients. CEO Marcio Orlando spoke with S&P Global Market Intelligence about the bank's plan to grow while driving social change.

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