Some Banks and Energy Companies Finally Starting to Get Some Backbone


Francis Menton

There’s nothing like a good energy crisis to bring a dose of reality to climate change and renewable energy fantasies.

It seems like it was barely a few months ago that every big financial institution and every big energy company was completely on board with the crash program to eliminate carbon emissions from the world. In 2021, in the run-up to the Glasgow climate conference, a large group of banks and other financial institutions formed something called the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, or GFANZ, with the mission of using their financial leverage to force the net zero transition on the world. From the GFANZ website:

GFANZ brings together independent, sector-specific alliances to tackle net-zero transition challenges and connects the financial community to the Race to Zero campaign, climate scientists and experts, and civil society.

All the cool kids raced to join up. A list of GFANZ members includes more than 500 major institutions, including essentially all of the largest banks in the world (U.S. members include JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, etc., etc.), not to mention asset managers, insurers, and on and on.

Even more absurd were the pledges of the big oil companies to eliminate their carbon emissions. (From SP Global, September 20, 2021: “Oil majors pledge net zero target, update goals to cut methane, carbon intensity.” Pledgers included all the biggest companies: Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell, etc., etc.). It’s like they had no idea they are in the oil business. Who us?

Well, now we’re heading into the inevitable energy crunch resulting from this folly (along with lots of destructive government policies), and reality is catching up. At Bloomberg News today the headline is “Banks Try Quiet Quitting on Net Zero.” Suddenly it’s become safe to admit that this was all a big mistake:

Several of the largest banks, including JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley, headed into the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) as members of [GFANZ], a group of roughly 500 financial sector entities [that were] publicly committed . . . to reach net-zero carbon emissions by midcentury. [But] by September [2022][JPMorgan, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley] were [all] among a faction ready to quit, according to sources familiar with the matter.

What happened? Well, with intentionally-created scarcity, fossil fuel prices are now up, and there is lots of money to be made developing resources to sell at high prices:

The revived fortunes of fossil fuels, especially coal, may explain some of the weakened resolve for decarbonization. Global bank lending to fossil fuel companies is up 15%, to over $300 billion, in the first nine months of this year, from the same period in 2021, according to data ­compiled by Bloomberg. This is Wall Street just doing its job: making money. Banks earned more than $1 billion in revenue from fossil lending during the first three quarters, in line with 2021. Why quit business with a booming sector over a distant climate goal?

And then there is the prospect of shareholder lawsuits if you just thumb your nose at profitable business:

Banks may not have originally understood the full litigation risks tied to signing net-zero commitments.

Some of the executives of these companies may have even figured out that intermittent renewable energy sources don’t really work to power a modern economy, although I haven’t seen any of them say exactly that. The one who has gotten closest is Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, who was asked by Representative Rashida Tlaib at a Congressional hearing on September 22 whether he would “commit to stop funding new fossil fuel projects.” He responded: “Absolutely not, and that would be the road to hell for America.” Finally, a little backbone.

Further in the backbone category, let us put CEO Michael Wirth of Chevron. Wirth gave an interview yesterday to the Financial Times (behind paywall) that was full of politically incorrect zingers. A few excerpts:

Despite heavy global investment in renewables in the past 20 years, fossil fuels still met about 80 per cent of global demand, and governments had to hold an “honest conversation” about the scale of the energy challenge, Wirth said. . . . “The reality is, [fossil fuel] is what runs the world today. It’s going to run the world tomorrow and five years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years from now.”

Best of all, Wirth said straight out that Chevron was planning to increase oil supply:

[Wirth] rejected the blame attributed to oil companies for providing “a legal product that complies with all the laws”, and for which there was still consumer demand — and reiterated his pledge that Chevron would continue to increase oil supply. “If people want to stop driving, stop flying . . . that’s a choice for society,” he said. “I don’t think most people want to move backwards in terms of their quality of their life . . . our products enable that.”

Read the entire post here.

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October 15, 2022 10:13 pm

Maybe the woke bankers are being reminded that it’s the economy stupid, consumers are banker’s clients?

October 15, 2022 10:26 pm

Isn’t there also a serious risk that GFANZ cabal are actually collaborating in an anti-competitive manner against fossil fuels? And could end up putting some of these CEOs in jail for even participating. Toes to the fire time, guys.

Leslie MacMillan
Reply to  Russell
October 15, 2022 10:52 pm

Yup. A cabal like GFANZ is safe only as long as the legal system believes that what you are doing is a Social Good. Once they turn on you, watch out!

Reply to  Leslie MacMillan
October 16, 2022 7:11 am


Bryan A
Reply to  Leslie MacMillan
October 16, 2022 7:38 am

They eat their own for not being green enough AND for not being far enough Left

Reply to  Russell
October 16, 2022 10:47 am

It strikes me that if there is any ‘funny business’, it’s the policies to drive up fossil fuel prices then profit from them.

Cold Comfort
October 15, 2022 10:52 pm

The heavily bloated Green Elephant, is about to go belly up and bankers are rushing to retrieve some respectability from their previous position of uninformed acceptance of the alarmists case. Much money is to be made and lost in the ensueing retreat and perhaps they’ll be more careful with the next Green scam. Of course, those who retreat first, stand the best chance of surviving the coming “financial storm” and might then ask themselves; “How could we have been so stupid”? I suppose the answer is, “It’s other peoples money”, yours and mine and the battlers up the street. Uncertain times ahead, let’s all hope for a soft landing.

Andy Espersen
October 15, 2022 11:09 pm

I love this : our privately owned banks are waking up to reality. Our Western civilisation may not be able to finance the hare-brained, unrealistic NetZero plans!!

There is nothing magic about money or credit – and governments are wholly depending on these banks for their existence – even the United States. Excepting China which works with a social credit type of economy – but in the end, China also is hugely dependent on our western banks. As China will find out the hard way

Watch this space. Some banks will quite likely go bankrupt in the near future – because of unwise lending. Which will be the next Leahman Brothers? The remaining banks will be far more careful – credit will be far more expensive soon . Once bitten – twice shy.

Reply to  Andy Espersen
October 16, 2022 12:07 am

Until they think up the next scam.

Nick Graves
Reply to  Andy Espersen
October 16, 2022 1:58 am

Finance guys seem to think it’s probably Credit Suisse, or Deutsche.

Place you bets…

October 16, 2022 12:29 am

The first time I heard about some banks no longer financing the fossil fuel industry, I thought to myself the smart ones should invest in fossil fuel.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Mike
October 16, 2022 3:13 am

Reminds me of EV’s. The smart companies will stick with IC automobiles….

Reply to  Gregory Woods
October 16, 2022 5:34 am

GM will make lots of money on their $300,000 Cadillac EV, Celestiq. /s

Reply to  Scissor
October 16, 2022 7:31 am

GM(government motors), Ford, etc. will die if they keep virtue signaling with the adoption of EV nonsense. Making way for Toyota(the largest vehicle producer in the world) to take over the roads. Along with the other common sense manufacturers who have not gone so deep down the EV rabbit hole that they can’t back out. And, they will prosper.
The greens are losing and they know it. Look for massive pushes to restart the faux climate nonsense. And watch it fail, spectacularly. ICE vehicles are no where close to being extinct, like the politicians who push for that end.
Just sayin’.

lee riffee
Reply to  RevJay4
October 16, 2022 7:55 am

I also think that states (CA and NY) that have set future ban dates for ICE vehicles will find those bans will be sued out of existence. Many businesses that have fleets of vehicles (and probably even some individuals who use ICE vehicles for non-business uses, like most of us do) will sue to stop these bans. They will likely do so on account of not being able to afford EVs, not being able to safely garage them (unless somehow between now and 2035 a new kind of battery is developed that has almost no chance of igniting), not have enough range to do whatever it is that business does, etc, etc. Car rental businesses are one kind of business that comes first to my mind….they will have to charge more for the rentals, many renters won’t want an EV because of the range and fire hazard, and they could be an insurance liability for the company.
I really do see these bans as facing some serious legal challenges.

Reply to  lee riffee
October 16, 2022 9:05 am

But, cleverly, California isn’t banning ICE vehicles (yet). They are just banning the sales of new ones. The auto repair business, and the used car business, will boom.

James Stagg
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
October 16, 2022 12:12 pm

Like Cuba!

Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
October 16, 2022 12:20 pm

And imports of near new cars from other states

Gerard O'Dowd
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
October 16, 2022 9:24 pm

Buy common shares of AutoZone and O’Reilly Autoparts for supplying DIY’ers and professional mechanics who repair aging ICE vehicles. Both stocks have been excellent long term investments.

My 2004 Toyota Camry still runs like new-except for the AC. Knock on wood.

Reply to  RevJay4
October 16, 2022 9:03 am

“Look for massive pushes to restart the faux climate nonsense.” When does the next COP start? Not a lot of time to shore up the defenses.

October 16, 2022 1:23 am


I wonder if the Z stands for Zombie Bank.

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
October 18, 2022 7:12 pm

Go Figure Australia +New Zealand

October 16, 2022 1:46 am

It’s worse than I thought

Irrespective of what the bankers might do we will probably end up with a Labour government and that would be a disaster

“”[Miliband] will also declare Labour’s plans to block fracking, saying that this and an expansion of solar would make the UK a “world-leading clean energy superpower” by 2030. “”


jeffery p
Reply to  Strativarius
October 16, 2022 7:02 am

From afar, it appears the name of the party in power may change, but not the policies.

Reply to  jeffery p
October 16, 2022 9:15 am

It is a Parliamentary dictatorship.

There can be no popular choice or decision – post Brexit.

Reply to  Strativarius
October 16, 2022 7:40 am

You mean the sun does not shine in the UK?????

Reply to  meiggs
October 16, 2022 9:15 am

Not in the way it shines in the tropics, no.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  meiggs
October 16, 2022 9:34 am

Only out of the posterior of the likes of Miliband.

Richard Page
Reply to  Strativarius
October 16, 2022 8:09 am

Incredibly stupid and delusional. If Labour get into power then it’s lights out, power out, freezing in the dark time – not sure it’ll be hugely better with Tories but there’s a chance.

Reply to  Richard Page
October 16, 2022 9:17 am

Right now the best bet we have is, (ugh) Rees Mogg and he’s determined to line his pockets out of it.

It doesnot add up
Reply to  strativarius
October 16, 2022 9:36 am

He appears not to understand just how big the problems are. MPs that get it include Graham Stringer, Steve Baker, Craig Mackinlay and John Redwood.

Jørgen F.
October 16, 2022 1:48 am

Europe electricity –
Is it an energy- or is it a financial crisis – created firstly by the volatility of output and then the cost of swaps trying to stabilize the wholesale and retail prizes (at a high level)?

October 16, 2022 2:18 am

Few people do not know that to stabilise CO2 levels in the atmosphere to 420 ppm, there is no need to go to zero emission. NET zero means that the sink is the same as the input, like a leaky bycicle tyre. The present sink is 20 GtCO2 per year, which means a reduction of 44% of the present input of 36 GtCO2 per year.

Steve Case
Reply to  Hans Erren
October 16, 2022 3:08 am

Carbon dioxide is not a problem.

The notion to stabilize CO2 at 420 ppm with a 44% reduction, leaky tire analogy, is without merit.

Reply to  Hans Erren
October 16, 2022 3:49 am

A simplistic model !

There is no need to do anything about lowering atmospheric CO2 levels

Would be far better for plant life if it were up around 1000 ppm.

Reply to  b.nice
October 16, 2022 6:06 am

It is better to use sound physical arguments when confronting the doomsayers, “net zero” is one of them.
BTW With the model of Dietze, Spencer, le Pair and mine you can’t get to 1000 ppm this century.

michael hart
Reply to  Hans Erren
October 16, 2022 10:02 am

Yup. Simple models can be very instructive. I don’t see the reason for all the downvotes for Hans.

As it stands, the carbon sinks are growing at a similar rate to the emissions, with a slight time lag. So ask yourself what would happen if emissions were suddenly to go to zero, or even be significantly reduced?

I don’t see Hans saying this is a good idea, just pointing out something obvious.

Reply to  Steve Case
October 16, 2022 3:20 am
Reply to  Steve Case
October 16, 2022 3:23 am
Andy Pattullo
Reply to  Steve Case
October 16, 2022 7:13 am

Exactly. CO2 is the structural and energy underpinning of all life on Earth. More atmospheric CO2 just means more life. We should all celebrate any role human civilization has had in increasing life.

Richard Page
Reply to  Hans Erren
October 16, 2022 8:21 am

Hans, I’m sure the maths is correct as I’m sure the maths is correct on every single one of the ‘experts’ you have cited in your ‘appeal to authority’ argument. However this matters very little, if anything at all; the world has been greening at a phenomenal rate since CO2 levels rose in response to increased temperature and humidity and this will not stop whatever humans do. Humans can reduce their CO2 output by 44% and it won’t even register on the CO2 levels, we could increase it by the same amount and it wouldn’t have the slightest effect. One Icelandic volcano going off just once will emit more CO2 than all humanity emits in a year, a Mt. Pinatubo going off would emit more CO2 than all humanity has emitted since we learned to bang 2 rocks together and make fire – what we do is fairly inconsequential to the planet. Get over this egocentric ‘humanity gone dun it now’ approach and look at it objectively for a change.

Reply to  Richard Page
October 17, 2022 3:47 am

I beg to differ, emission reduction with 44% will flatten the Mauna Loa curve. The current rise of co2 in the atmosphere is not the result of temperature rise. The major effect of Pinatubo was caused by sulphur emissions. Your CO2 numbers for volcanos are way too high.

Richard Page
Reply to  Hans Erren
October 17, 2022 9:50 am

What was the estimated emission reduction due to COVID lockdowns? And that had absolutely and utterly zero effect on the increasing level of CO2 in the atmosphere – zero. You’re wrong to woefully overestimate humanity’s contribution just as you’re wrong to see CO2 as a problem to be eliminated.

October 16, 2022 4:38 am

Yes a few more having impure thoughts and straying from the hardliner climate cult mantra-
Toyota slams electric-car extremism | Drive

To be honest, some of this belief that you can just go full electric in 10 years in this country and satisfy the … owners and what they want to do with cars, is a very difficult proposition.

Reply to  observa
October 16, 2022 5:10 am

Mind you he’s on the same page as the boss-
Toyota CEO doubles down on EV strategy amid criticism it’s not moving fast enough (

Everything is going to be up to the customers to decide

and deciding they are being prepared to queue up with very long waiting lists for Toyota’s cutting edge urban hybrids as well as the Hilux and Landcruiser in Oz. Given some extraordinary wait times I’m surprised Toyota don’t auction them off the line to collar the maximum economic rent. Thereby commanding maximum input supply and ultimately satisfying those down the waiting list much sooner. That’s the way markets work best.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  observa
October 16, 2022 5:38 am

Toyota is doing it correctly. And their EV’s don’t spontaneously combust like some lithium battery EV models do.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 16, 2022 6:09 am

This Tesla hybrid has a virtually continuous ignition source.

jeffery p
Reply to  observa
October 16, 2022 7:06 am

Not all of us live in metropolitan areas. The idea that the rural areas can run in Net-Zero is ludicrous. Do people understand where food comes from?

Reply to  jeffery p
October 16, 2022 7:38 am

If you ask most urban dwellers, their answer will be something like “from the supermarket”. Most have no idea how the food products appear on the shelves.
A generation of morons has been created by the state via education departments over the last decades or so.
Just sayin’.

Reply to  RevJay4
October 16, 2022 2:15 pm

their answer will be something like “from the supermarket”

I’ve actually witnessed it. They have no idea that it has to grow in the ground. Ew, that’s disgusting!

Reply to  jeffery p
October 16, 2022 7:44 am

In Klaus Schwab’s voice, “You will eat nothing and be happy.”

Reply to  observa
October 16, 2022 9:11 am

Yet he still buys into carbon neutrality and Governments setting standards to lower anthropogenic CO2 to net zero.

Tom Abbott
October 16, 2022 5:28 am

From the article: “Even more absurd were the pledges of the big oil companies to eliminate their carbon emissions.”

Absurd is the right word.

Going along to get along. Weak. Pathetic. Unscientific.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
October 16, 2022 2:16 pm

Hasn’t history repeatedly shown us what happens to appeasers?

October 16, 2022 6:24 am

Maybe they are figuring out the governments they were pleasing by getting on the green band wagon will not be able to provide them with the next necessary bank bailout as the world economy falls apart. The governments that caused the current economic crisis through out of control spending do not have the capacity to borrow and spend their way out of the coming collapse.

Steve Case
October 16, 2022 7:30 am

Tony Heller put up this interesting link with earthy language from :

Jamie Dimon Says Oil And Gas Is The Only Way To Protect America

October 16, 2022 9:00 am

Maybe, if the SEC had any backbone, there would be investigations, leading to prosecutions for such obvious market rigging. Cut funding to drive up the price of fossil fuels, then jump in to make lots of business deals.

Max More
October 16, 2022 12:05 pm

Good for Michael Wirth of Chevron. However, he gets one thing dangerously wrong: If people want to stop driving, stop flying . . . that’s a choice for society,” No, it’s a choice for each individual. Society doesn’t make choices. Certain people pretending to be the people impose their choices on everyone else.

No one
Reply to  Max More
October 16, 2022 12:37 pm

Classical classism.

Gunga Din
Reply to  Max More
October 16, 2022 1:12 pm

Good catch.
To say “that’s a choice for society” means that’s a choice for those who would shape “society” and are using “CAGW” as a lever to do so.

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