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Citi, JPMorgan, RBC to give new climate metric in deals with New York City

Published 04/03/2024, 06:58 PM
Updated 04/04/2024, 11:57 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo for Citibank is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Ross Kerber and Mehnaz Yasmin

(Reuters) -Citigroup, JPMorgan and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) will disclose a new climate metric under agreements between New York City Comptroller Brad Lander and the three large North American banks.

Lander, who oversees public retirement assets, said on Wednesday that the three banks will disclose their ratio of financing for low-carbon energy projects compared with their financing for fossil fuel projects.

In return, retirement funds Lander helps run have withdrawn shareholder resolutions at each bank calling for the disclosures.

The new transparency will help investors "more effectively measure how well they are or aren't living up to their commitments," Lander said in a statement. "As leading public investors, we expect that energy supply ratio disclosure will become a new standard for the banking sector."

The bank's forthcoming reports should at minimum cover their equity and debt underwriting, syndicated lending and project finance, a representative for Lander said.

A JPMorgan spokesperson said the bank found common ground with Lander on disclosing a clean energy financing ratio, with an understanding it would take some time and resources to develop a decision-useful approach.

"We will engage with NYC and our shareholders to provide the market more clarity and transparency about our activities and what financing the transition truly looks like," the spokesperson said.

RBC Vice President of Climate Jennifer Livingstone said its talks with Lander had been constructive and said it planned to boost lending to low-carbon energy projects.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo for Citibank is seen on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

"We plan to disclose a clean energy supply financing ratio in our 2024 Climate Report as it aligns to our strategic objectives," she said in an email. "Transparency and advanced disclosures on climate performance are critical to showing the progress we are making."

Citi Chief Sustainability Officer Val Smith said the new metric would add to a suite of metrics provided in the bank's climate reporting. "We continue to have a constructive dialogue with the Comptroller's office," Smith said.

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