Attorney General Knudsen joins multi-state investigation into six major banks’ anti-energy ESG practices
HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and 18 other state attorneys general launched an investigation into six major banks over potentially deceptive trade practices tied to Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) related actions. Civil investigative demands were sent today asking for documents related to their involvement with the United Nations’ Net-Zero Banking Alliance.
It is believed that the Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo, with oversight by the UN, collectively agreed that each of their lending practices will reflect the target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with interim targets in 2030, based on the Paris Agreement. The effect of this accord would be to starve companies engaged in fossil fuel-related activities of credit on national and international markets.
“Out-of-state interests have been waging war on Montana’s energy industries for years, and these coordinated actions from major banks and the United Nations are a potentially illegal attack. Acting at the behest of the United Nations doesn’t give banks or any other corporation license to violate Montana law,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “I will continue to fight against collusion and other illegal actions that target Montana businesses and harm consumers.”
According to the UN, the Net-Zero Banking Alliance “reinforces, accelerates and supports the implementation of decarbonisation strategies.” Member banks “are committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.”
More information will be made available as the investigation continues.