Majority Action’s Director Vote Recommendation
We are calling on investors to vote against the Board Chair and/or Lead Independent Director ahead of JPMorgan Chase’s annual general meeting in 2022. Votes against the Board Chair and/or Lead Independent Director are warranted on the basis of their failure to oversee climate performance of the bank.
JPMorgan Chase was the largest global provider of finance to fossil fuels overall between 2016 and 2021, according to the Rainforest Action Network’s 2022 Banking on Climate Chaos Report. The bank contributed more than $382 billion in lending and underwriting for fossil fuel projects.
The bank also received the second lowest overall score on its fossil fuels policies among US banks according to BankTrack research.
By signing on to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance in 2021, JPMorgan Chase joined its peers in committing to reduce its financed emissions to net-zero by 2050. However, its 2030 interim targets, covering the oil and gas, electric power and auto manufacturing sectors, are intensity-only targets, allowing for absolute financed emissions in those sectors to grow. Without adopting absolute emission targets and stopping the financing of new fossil fuel development, the company’s net-zero commitment is not credible. The company is exposed to significant financial, regulatory and litigation risks.
And, unlike many of its peers, JPMorgan has not committed to disclose and measure the climate impact of its financed emissions through the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials.
While its fossil fuel financing policies exclude Arctic oil and gas projects, they do not exclude tar sands oil projects or companies, and have no other limits on companies expanding oil and gas production beyond enhanced due diligence.
JPMorgan Chase has the power to accelerate or stall the decarbonization necessary to limit warming to 1.5℃. Failure to set ambitious decarbonization targets in line with 1.5°C pathways, and align companies’ business plans and policies to those targets is a failure of strategy and corporate governance, for which long-term investors should hold directors accountable. This year, investors must vote against the bank’s Board Chair and/or Lead Independent Director.
Majority Action’s director vote recommendation is not the only action shareholders can take on climate at JPMorgan Chase’s AGM this year.
Mercy Investment Services’ shareholder resolution calls on the bank to adopt a policy by the end of 2022 in alignment with the IEA’s 1.5°C climate change scenario, by ensuring that its financing does not contribute to new fossil fuel development.
In addition to voting against the Board Chair and/or Lead Independent Director on the basis of their failure to oversee climate performance of the bank, we recommend that investors also vote for the Mercy Investment Services resolution at JPMorgan Chase to send a signal that emissions from the fossil fuel sector must reduce significantly this decade.