Economy

Climate leadership at big banks will be tested with earnings this week

By David Callaway, Callaway Climate Insights

(David Callaway is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Callaway Climate Insights. He is the former president of the World Editors Forum, Editor-in-Chief of USA Today and MarketWatch, and CEO of TheStreet Inc.)

SAN FRANCISCO (Callaway Climate Insights) — A handful of the world’s biggest banks will report earnings this week, following a tumultuous quarter of war, surging interest rates, swinging financial markets and a complete flip of the energy transition story toward more oil, gas and coal use than ever before.

Among the banks reporting are JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), BlackRock (BLK), Citigroup (C), Morgan Stanley (MS), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Wells Fargo (WFC) — most of them signatories on various international climate commitment agreements.

Given the interest investors will have in what the leaders of these banks will say about the quarter, particularly about interest rates, we might expect to hear little if anything about the status of their fossil fuel lending operations. However, because this might be the last quarterly earnings reports before the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new climate disclosure rule is finalized, it’s possible a few of the banks might soft launch an attempt to show the Feds they are serious. . . .

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