Bank of America to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050

The company is committed to deploy $445bn by 2030 under its Environmental Business Initiative

Pedestrians wearing protective masks walk past a Bank of America Corp. branch in New York, U.S., on Sunday, July 12, 2020. Bank of America is scheduled to release earnings figures on July 16. Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg
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Bank of America has committed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its financing activities, operations and supply chain before 2050, joining other US banks such as Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase pledging to achieving net-zero-financed emissions.

It will also engage with its clients to help accelerate their own transitions to net zero and plan to establish interim science based emissions targets for high-emitting portfolios, including energy and power, the North Carolina-based lender said.

“It is critical that we leverage all parts of our business – beyond our direct operations – in order to accelerate the transition to a net zero global economy,” the investment bank’s vice chairman Anne Finucane said.

“We recognise that this will be no easy task, but we believe our commitment will help spur the growth of zero carbon energy and power solutions, sustainable transportation and agriculture, and other sector transformations, while generating more climate resilient and equitable opportunities for our future,” added Ms Finucane, who also leads the company’s environmental, sustainable finance, capital deployment and public policy efforts.

In July last year, as part of its transition to net zero emissions, the Bank of America joined the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials as a member of the global core team. With 15 other financial institutions, it developed standards, providing a consistent methodology to assess and disclose emissions associated with financing activities.

It is committed to disclosing its financed emissions no later than 2023.

Bank of America achieved carbon neutrality in its operations in 2019, a year ahead of schedule, and increased the number of vendors that measure and publicly report greenhouse gas emissions.

“By outlining the steps Bank of America is taking to achieve net zero emissions, the company is accelerating the ambitions laid forth in the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Mindy Lubber chief executive and president of Ceres, a non-profit sustainability advocacy organisation based in Boston.

“As a global financial institution, Bank of America has unique influence and reach to help achieve those goals,” she added.

Investment in the low-carbon technologies and activities needed to decarbonise all sectors of the economy will be critical to Bank of America meeting its net zero goals.

Since 2007, the company has directed more than $200 billion in capital and has committed to deploy a total of $445bn in next ten years under its Environmental Business Initiative.