Frustration at COP26 over JP Morgan’s influence

The COP-26 Conference in Glasgow has achieved many pledges and perhaps even some sense of optimism, but there has also been “deep frustration” over the influence of certain companies.

Epworth Investment Management, in particular, has voiced its dissatisfaction over the role of JP Morgan in the United Nations (UN) Environment Programme’s Greening the Blue initiative. JP Morgan is acting as the initiative’s banking partner and Epworth is “gravely concerned” that JP Morgan holds an influential position while simultaneously continuing to finance the coal industry and oil and gas producers.

In a recent example, JP Morgan agreed to extend its financing of Peabody Energy, the US’s largest producer of coal, through to the end of 2024, a year after the bank’s own deadline to phase out credit exposure to the coal industry.

Revd Dr Andrew Harper, head of ethics, Epworth Investment Management, commented: “Like many others, we are deeply frustrated with the UN for continuing with this partnership, which contradicts everything we are seeking to achieve at COP26. As investors and members of a global society under the severe threat of climate change, we must be honest about our ecological impact and reject superficial promises, partnerships, and pledges that place our future in jeopardy.”

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