Big Banks Under Investigation For Emissions Promise

( Attorneys general from more than 18 states across the country are joining together to start a probe of six major financial institutions for their involvement in a United Nations coalition that aims at working to get to net-zero emissions of fossil fuels.

The announcement was made on Wednesday by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is part of the coalition.

The banks that are a part of the probe are Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Bank of America. They’re all members of what’s called the NZBA, or the Net-Zero Banking Alliance of the United Nations.

As part of that alliance, the banks have agreed to align the emissions of greenhouse gases in their investment and lending portfolios, as part of a worldwide effort to achieve net-zero emissions levels by 2050.

The investigation against the banks is being carried out to see whether these banks ended up violating laws regarding consumer protection because of their involvement in the NZBA, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.

In making the announcing of the probe, Brnovich said:

“NZBA is an agreement between major banking institutions to support the climate agenda by choosing not to work with companies engaged in fossil fuel-related activities. This means some farmers, oil leasing companies, and other businesses will be unable to get a loan because of the alliance.”

There are 119 members across 41 countries in NZBA, which began back in April of 2021. Those members make up roughly 39% of the banking assets across the world.

Paxton commented on the situation by saying:

“The radical climate change movement has been waging an all-out war against American energy for years, and the last thing Americans need right now are corporate activists helping the left bankrupt our fossil fuel industry. If the largest banks in the world think they can get away with lying to consumers or taking any other illegal action designed to target a vital American industry like energy, they’re dead wrong. This investigation is just getting started, and we won’t stop until we get to the truth.”

States led by the Republican Party have been targeting financial companies that they believe have a “woke bias,” according to a recent Reuters report. Other companies that have been a target of probes include Morningstar Inc. and BlackRock Inc.

As part of the probe into the NZBA investigation, the attorneys general want the banks to submit documents to them that detail how they’re involved with the group.

The United Nations website describes the NZBA as a group of banks that are “committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.”

That’s a rather broad description, and one that the group of attorneys general is going to want to dive much further into. As Brnovich said:

“American banks should never put political agendas ahead of the secure retirement of their clients.”

And Paxton added:

“The last thing Americans need right now are corporate activists helping the left bankrupt our fossil fuel industry.”