JPMorgan Won't Finance New Coal Mines That Worsen Climate Change

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JPMorgan Chase is the latest big bank to pull back from coal.

The bank will no longer finance new coal mines around the world and will end support for new coal-fired power plants in "high income" countries of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development, JPMorgan said in a policy statement on its website.

The decision puts JPMorgan on a growing list of financial institutions, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, that have pledged to stop or scale back support for coal projects. It's part of a broader divestment campaign led by environmental groups looking to move the global economy beyond fossil fuels.

"We believe the financial services sector has an important role to play as governments implement policies to combat climate change," JPMorgan said in the document.

Outside of rich countries, the New York-based bank will back only coal-fired plants that have "ultra-supercritical" technology that is more efficient than conventional systems. JPMorgan will consider on a "case-by-case basis" coal plants in rich or poor nations that use technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions and prevent their release into the atmosphere.

JPMorgan also plans to reduce its credit exposure in the "medium term" to companies that generate most of their revenue from coal mining and coal sales. The bank expects its business to reflect the "decline of coal as an energy source."

The bank published its updated policy statement on Friday. In 2013, in an earlier version, JPMorgan said it would reduce its exposure to companies that engage in "mountaintop mining" in Appalachia.

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