Big Banks Back Carbon Principles for Investment

jp morgan bank carbon principles for investment 04 Big Banks Back Carbon Principles for InvestmentFinally some good news – really good news from the global warming watch. Big business is finally getting the message that the earth is in peril. Either that or banks are just trying to shift focus away from the sub-prime debacle and slumping markets. Either way, today’s news from New York marks a new course for energy investment, making it more difficult to secure loans for coal-fired power plants.

Led by the mega-banks, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley, a consortium of lenders, energy producers and environmental groups created the Carbon Principles to reduce “carbon risk” investments – the first time such big money-power has taken notice that reliance on fossils is the way of the past. The principles mandate a new process of Enhanced Diligence designed to ferret out environmental and social risks associated with fossil fuels before loans are offered. Preference is also given to energy efficiency, low-carbon emissions technology, and energy producers that fade out of conventional (fossil fuel) energy production.

And the Principles acknowledge the destructive nature of fossil fuels, stating “Due to evolving climate policy, investing in CO2-emitting fossil fuel generation entails uncertain financial, regulatory and certain environmental liability risks. It is the purpose of the Enhanced Diligence process to assess and reflect these risks in the financing considerations for certain fossil fuel generation.”

With this kind of clout backing a cleaner future, look for real change. Banks have finally latched onto an idea that new energy technology will create the new manufacturing economy. Let’s just make sure to keep that manufacturing here in the U.S.

Read more here.

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