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Goldman Sachs Latest Major U.S. Bank to Set Net-Zero Emissions Goal Without Key Details to Get There

WASHINGTON - Today, Goldman Sachs announced a new commitment to align its financing activities with a pathway to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and committed to set interim climate targets by the end of this year. Goldman Sachs also indicated it would begin measuring and disclosing its financed emissions, though the announcement lacked further details on the bank’s methodology for doing so and its near-term steps for cutting emissions.

Today’s announcement makes Goldman Sachs the fourth major U.S. bank — following Morgan StanleyBank of America, and Citi — to make an explicit commitment to achieve net zero financed emissions by 2050. JPMorgan Chase also previously pledged to align its financing with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Notably, this means that Wells Fargo is now the only major U.S. bank that has not made a similar commitment.

Last year, a coalition of more than 60 climate and human rights organizations around the world issued a set of Principles for Paris-Aligned Financial Institutions that details what true climate leadership from banks and other financial institutions would look like to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

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In response, Sierra Club financial advocacy campaign manager Ben Cushing released the following statement:

“Commitments to achieve net zero financed emissions by 2050 have become the new minimum standard for climate action on Wall Street. While it’s good to see Goldman Sachs headed in the right direction, the firm must recognize that mitigating its role in the climate crisis and aligning with the goals of the Paris Agreement demands stronger immediate action. Goldman Sachs and other banks should take steps now to meet these goals by not financing further fossil fuel expansion and setting a timeline for phasing out fossil fuel financing overall.”

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The Sierra Club is the oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization in the United States. It was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known conservationist and preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. The Sierra Club has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US, and is affiliated with Sierra Club Canada.

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