Mississippi News

Coalition investigating banks involved in UN-led ESG investing alliance

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has announced that she and 18 other Attorneys General have served six major American banks with civil investigative demands, which act as a subpoena, asking for documents relating to the companies’ involvement with the United Nations’ (UN) Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). 

The banks include Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo. NZBA-member banks must set emissions reduction targets in their lending and investment portfolios to reach net zero by 2050.

“The Net-Zero Banking Alliance’s political agenda does not align with American economic interests,” said Attorney General Lynn Fitch. “These banks need to understand that they are accountable to American laws and investors, not UN bureaucrats and UN standards.”

Some of the interrogatories within the civil investigative demands include:

  • Describe Your involvement in each Global Climate Initiative in which You participate, including the date You first began participating, any promises, pledges, or other commitments You made to the Global Climate Initiative, or any actions You made or took pursuant to, or consistent with, such commitments, or Your initial or on-going participation, and the employee(s) responsible for managing Your relationship with each Global Climate Initiative.
  • Identify the objectives and mission of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance and describe how You incorporated these objectives into Your operations.
  • Describe the extent to which You have incorporated the Principles for Responsible Banking into Your operations, including but not limited to the extent to which You consulted with other Net-Zero Banking Alliance signatories as part of the incorporation process.
  • Describe the extent to which You, as a signatory to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, have acted consistent with Your commitment to “facilitat[e] the necessary transition in the real economy through prioritizing client engagement and offering products and services to support clients’ transition.”
  • Describe the extent to which You, as a signatory to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, have acted consistent with Your commitment to “engag[e] on corporate and industry (financial and real economy) action, as well as public policies, to help support a net-zero transition of economic sectors in line with science and giving consideration to associated social impacts.”

In addition to Mississippi, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia have joined the Missouri-led investigation into the six banks.

More information will be made available as the investigation continues.