By Hannah Towey
Insider, Aug 14, 2022
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said this week that US natural gas production does not conflict with long-term emission reduction targets, Yahoo Finance first reported.
“We should focus on climate. The problem with that is because of high oil and gas prices, the world is turning back on their coal plants. It is dirtier,” Dimon said on a client call Tuesday, per the Saturday report.
“Why can’t we get it through our thick skulls, that if you want to solve climate [change], it is not against climate [change] for America to boost more oil and gas?” he continued, according to Yahoo.
JPMorgan Chase was ranked as the world’s top “fossil fuel financier” in a report published by environmental groups last year, who said the bank contributed a total of $317 billion to the industry between 2016 and 2020.
The bank has pledged to achieve net-zero emissions throughout key sectors of its financing portfolio by 2050 in accordance with the Paris Agreement. A spokesperson for JPMorgan did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Natural gas produces half the carbon dioxide compared to burning coal and has played an important role in reducing the US’ overall CO2 emissions since 2007. However, climate scientists told Reuters that the oil and gas industry is growing at a rate incompatible with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
In his 2021 letter to shareholders, Dimon said “national security demands energy security for ourselves and for our allies overseas,” noting that “using gas to diminish coal consumption is an actionable way to reduce CO2 emissions expeditiously.”
He added that the US needs “immediate approval for additional oil leases and gas pipelines, as well as permits for green energy projects” in order to achieve energy security while also reaching long-term climate goals.
This March, Dimon urged the Biden administration to develop a modern-day “Marshall Plan” to boost energy production within the US in order to decrease dependence on foreign oil imports against the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He also pushed for investments in green tech like hydrogen power and carbon capture, according to Axios.