(In early Nov 2020) “… the U.S. Federal Reserve said for the first time that failing to address climate change would put the nation’s finances at risk and its economy at a global disadvantage.
Even without federal guidance, several major U.S. companies and banks, including JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup, have already pledged to disclose how their finances are affecting climate change.
Many climate activists see those pledges as not going far enough, especially since most of the banks are still pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into fossil fuel development. Between 2016 and 2019, JPMorgan alone provided $269 billion to oil and gas projects, according to the environmental nonprofit Rainforest Action Network.
But banks and other companies are making the pledges, in part, because there’s been a lack of federal regulation, said Michael Vandenbergh, a law professor and the director of Vanderbilt Law School’s Climate Change Research Network.
And if the Biden administration can move any kind of federal regulation forward, it would help speed up the clean energy transition and get everyone on the same page, he said.
“If we don’t make systemic changes, the stability of our financial institutions—there’s significant question there,” Rothstein said. “That’s why it’s important for the financial regulators to do their job.”