Goldman Sachs just released updated policies to try and tackle their investments in dirty fossil fuel projects. And they’re riddled with loopholes. They don’t outline anything to do with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and they’re massaging the numbers to make it look good (by using ‘intensity’ rather than ‘absolute’ targets). No wonder they’re giving all their investment bankers a pay rise.
Their updated policies and their bogus commitment to net-zero are meant to distract us from the truth. Which is that in the last 5 years, they’ve invested more than $100 billion in projects that are fuelling the climate crisis. And their top five fossil fuel clients in 2020 were BP, Pacific Gas & Electric, EcoPetrol, Petrobras, and Cheniere Energy – some of the worst polluters in the world. They also don’t want people to notice that the new policy falls well-short of what some other banks are doing to address the climate crisis.
Alyssa Lee, Campaign Strategy Coordinator with Future Coalition and the Youth Climate Finance Alliance said:
“Goldman Sachs’ announcement is a lot of business and climate buzz words that boil down to doing more of the same with no accountability. Young people are done putting up with this empty language. The youth climate movement has made it clear to megabank CEOs like David Solomon that acceptable climate policy in 2021 MUST center on ending funding for fossil fuels. If Goldman Sachs wants to ‘drive decarbonization’, then try our ‘innovative solution’ – stop financing fossil fuels and pay climate reparations.”
“Goldman Sachs has the same problem as many of its peers of mistaking carbon intensity targets for an acceptable substitute for a meaningful emissions reduction plan. Achieving the net-zero target Goldman and other banks have committed to means stopping support for fossil fuel expansion immediately. Anything less is just an attempt at good PR.”
Jason Opeña Disterhoft, senior campaigner at Rainforest Action Network said:
“The targets’ reliance on offsets also perpetuates fossil fuel business-as-usual and threatens the rights of communities impacted by offset schemes. Goldman Sachs, like all major fossil banks, has to immediately stop financing expansion of fossil fuels and set absolute emissions targets aligned with 1.5°C. If they don’t, investors and regulators should consider their net zero commitments to be greenwash.”