JPMorgan just released new carbon-reduction targets for clients in the auto, power, and oil & gas sectors

By Samantha Stokes

JPMorgan just laid out the next details in its climate push by putting hard targets on certain carbon-reduction goals over the next decade.

The biggest US bank announced Thursday morning new carbon-reduction targets for auto manufacturing, electric power, and oil & gas clients to align with the Paris Agreement. The bank will work with clients in these sectors to reduce carbon intensity by 41%, 69%, and 35%, respectively, by 2030. 

The new targets are the latest steps in JPMorgan's big climate push, which began last year when the bank enacted a Paris-aligned financing agreement, which set emission targets for oil and gas, electric power, and automotive manufacturing clients to meet the Paris Agreement's goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

"Setting our Paris-aligned targets is an important step toward accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement," Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan's CEO, said in a statement. "JPMorgan Chase is committed to doing its part by working with clients around the world to reduce emissions and by ensuring our own operations remain carbon neutral."

Last month, the bank announced a decade-long target to facilitate and finance more than $2.5 trillion to address climate change and contribute to sustainable development. JPMorgan's plan included $1 trillion for green initiatives such as finding clean-energy solutions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy.

"Energy issues are at the center of climate change, and I have been working across the JPMorgan franchise to drive more sustainable, climate-friendly developments in a way that really works for our business, consumers, and the clients," Marisa Buchanan, JPMorgan's global head of sustainability, told Insider in an earlier interview.

JPMorgan's climate efforts come as multiple big banks have drawn criticism for pumping trillions of dollars of financing into the fossil fuels sector since 2016, according to reports from environmental activist groups. JPMorgan, which has extended $317 billion in financing to the fossil fuel sector since 2016, the study found, topped the list.

Thursday's announcement includes a targeted 41% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030 for the manufacturing of new vehicles and their tailpipe emissions. JPMorgan will also work with auto manufacturing clients to transition to electric vehicles and quantify and address emissions from the automotive supply chain. 

In the electric power sector, the bank is targeting a 69% reduction in carbon intensity from electric power generation by 2030 and will work with clients shifting to low- and zero-carbon sources such as solar and wind. 

And JPMorgan is targeting a 35% reduction in operational carbon intensity for oil & gas clients, including a 15% reduction in end-use carbon intensity, which reflects a "decrease in emissions from the combustion of oil & natural gas downstream and increase in renewable energy generation," the firm said.  The bank will work with clients in the oil & gas sector to address methane leakage and flaring activity and encourage shifts to renewable electricity.

By the end of next year, JPMorgan said it will release additional Paris-aligned targets for the aviation and pulp & paper sectors. 

JPMorgan also announced on Thursday that the bank itself had reached carbon neutrality — achieving net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by balancing them with their removal — last year and plans to maintain that standard going forward. To achieve this goal, the firm announced a handful of carbon-offsetting practices, such as installing LED lighting systems in more than 4,000 branches and 50 commercial offices; increasing solar capacity across branches and corporate offices buildings in the US and UK.; and helping to develop a 22-turbine wind farm to meet about 14% of the firm's global energy needs.