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As Tesla Ramps Its Energy Business, JP Morgan Joins Blackrock In Pulling Back From Coal Investments

by Claribelle Deveza February 27, 2020

As Tesla Ramps Its Energy Business, JP Morgan Joins Blackrock In Pulling Back From Coal Investments

Amidst Tesla's efforts to ramp its Energy business, JP Morgan Chase has joined Blackrock by expanding its sustainable financing goals starting with a pledge to promote $200 billion worth of environmental and economic development deals, and pulling back from investments related to the coal industry. The American multinational investment bank and financial services holding company announced its decision during its annual investor day. 

According to CNBCthe New York-based bank will also be making moves to accelerate the transition to clean energy presumably worldwide. Its efforts to fund environmental and economic development deals will be on a global scale as well.  

Blackrock CEO Larry Fink made a similar announcement last month when he announced the company would put sustainability at the forefront of its investment approach. In Fink’s company letter to clients, he explained how much climate risk could affect the financial sector’s forecasts and decisions about the future.  

JP Morgan and Blackrock seem to be on the same page. Even though JP Morgan is one of the world’s major bankers tied to the fossil-fuel market, it will be distancing itself from the coal industry. During its investor day, the New York-based investment bank stated it would keep away from advising and lending to the coal-mining industry. 

Similarly, Blackrock’s new environmentally conscious portfolio indicated that the company would leave investments that posed high risks for the sustainability movement, like thermal coal producers. Blackrock further announced that it would release new investment products that would screen fossil fuels. 

The move toward sustainability hasn’t just taken hold of Blackrock and JP Morgan. The transition to clean energy and sustainability has spread throughout the world, as evident by CEO Larry Fink’s experience. 

“In all my travels—three times to China, these past six months—every conversation whether it was 20% or 100% related to ‘how should I think of climate change in my portfolio?’ I met with governments—event governments in the Middle East. They were asking how they should navigate more solar and more wind [energy] because, for OPEC countries, the movement toward renewables was very powerful for them….,” Fink said. 

JP Morgan seems aware of the hold sustainability, or renewables now have on the world and the obstacles in the pursuit of clean energy. In a public statement, the investment bank said, “This new commitment is intended to address a broader set of challenges in the developing world and developed countries where social and economic development gaps persist.”

This shift in sentiment within these two finance giants comes amidst the rise of renewables, which is pretty well represented by the ramp of Tesla Energy, the Silicon Valley-based company's battery storage and residential solar business. Since releasing its Solarglass V3 tiles last year, Tesla has been on a massive energy push, as hinted at by CEO Elon Musk's rather frequent energy-related posts on his Twitter account. The company is also being involved in more and more ambitious projects, including the expansion of the Hornsdale Power Reserve in South Australia, as well as a recently-announced Megapack installation at Moss Landing, which could very well become the largest battery installation in the world when it's complete. 

Featured Image Credit: freeimage4life/Flickr




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