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How Mark Carney is the Key to Net-Zero

Published: Nov. 3, 2021

Until recently, big Wall Street players like JPMorgan (JPM.N) and Goldman Sachs (GS.N) were happy to ignore GFANZ, the umbrella term for a series of net-zero alliances which also includes asset managers and insurers. Carney’s credibility in both public and private sectors was integral to turning this around. The catch is that the job is only half-done. Having signed up last month, JPMorgan has nearly 18 months to set its first targets for reductions in high-emissions-intensity financing. The ideal outcome would see boss Jamie Dimon commit to exit coal financing by 2030 and halve emissions by the same date. Yet GFANZ requirements only formally require members to commit to a “fair share” of this decarbonization.

The Doomsday outcome would be if Dimon and other bank chiefs, irked by the underwhelming national emissions-cut plans emanating from COP26, pledged only a desultory 2030 reduction. Green lobbyists have already pushed for GFANZ to be more explicit on fossil fuel phase-outs and commit to the International Energy Agency’s relatively hair-shirt net-zero pathway. A slew of underwhelming bank 2030 pledges would leave the alliance looking decidedly non-exclusive.

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