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Seth Jensen: Will JP Morgan Chase shareholders vote for clean energy?

Seth Jensen: Will JP Morgan Chase shareholders vote for clean energy?

Dear Editor: Shareholders of JP Morgan Chase have the opportunity to vote in favor of a clean energy future. At their annual meeting on May 19, shareholders will be asked to vote for three resolutions that ask the company to:

1. report on whether and how it plans to align its portfolio activity with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement;

2. report on how it is managing the risks of its most harmful fossil fuel financing, such as those in tar sands oil production; and

3. establish an independent chair of the Board.

Shareholders also will be able to vote to remove Lee Raymond from the Chase Board. As the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, Mr. Raymond was the architect of Exxon’s long-term campaign of climate change science denial. He has already served on the JP Morgan Chase board for 32 years.

One shareholder who chose to vote against Mr. Raymond is Scott Stringer, the New York City Comptroller. In his April 22 letter to JP Morgan Chase shareholders, Stringer asserted that, due to his long connection to the petroleum industry, Raymond is incapable of honoring his fiduciary duties to shareholders regarding risks of investing in fossil fuels. He explained that asset managers who fail to require full disclosure of how the fossil fuel industry is a primary cause of climate warming are jeopardizing not only our climate, but also strong financial returns for their clients.

If Mr. Raymond is removed from the Board of Chase, it is not a guarantee that the bank has seen the light. However, it will be a clear signal that JP Morgan Chase is finally paying attention to the true climate change risks of their investments.

Seth Jensen


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