Goldman Sachs’ divestment in ‘flashing neon’

Goldman Sachs has announced fossil finance restrictions that appear to be more stringent that those of any other major US bank, ruling out direct finance for new or expanding thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plant projects worldwide, as well as direct finance for new Arctic oil exploration and production.

Goldman Sachs’s new policy includes underwriting, and explicitly commits to phase-out, not just reduction. Goldman Sachs also said that it was to target $750bn in sustainable finance growth ‘themes’ by 2030, such as transport, accessible and affordable education and food production.

Jason Opeña Disterhoft, climate and energy senior campaigner at Rainforest Action Network (RAN), issued the following statement on RAN’s behalf. “By ruling out direct finance for Arctic oil exploration and production, Goldman has established the first no-go zone for a major US bank in the oil and gas sector.

“The writing was already on the wall for coal financing. Goldman Sachs’s new policy puts that writing in flashing neon. A commitment from what is considered by its peers as the most prestigious investment bank on Wall Street to exit financing for thermal coal mining companies will accelerate coal becoming completely unbankable.”

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