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Monday, July 15, 2024

Shareholders of Four Major U.S. Banks Asked to Oppose ‘Net Zero’ Proposals

'These and other big banks have cowered in fear for decades before the propagandists who have brought climate alarm to every shareholder meeting the last couple of decades...'

(National Legal and Policy Center) Ahead of the annual meetings for four major banks during the last week of this month, National Legal and Policy Center is asking its fellow shareholders to oppose 10 proposals on proxy statements brought forth by activist groups who seek to destroy the fossil fuel industry.

The proposals, in similar form and wording, demand that Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo align their “climate transition” and “fossil fuel lending” policies with their futile and economy-killing “net-zero” emissions goals.

NLPC filed exempt solicitation reports with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month, which oppose the radical shareholder proposals at each of the banks.

The reports can be found at the following links: Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo.

In their attempt to make their cases to defund the oil and gas sectors, the activist proponents have unleashed a torrent of unrealistic forecasts infected by insufficient data and deeply flawed science, all issued by a cabal of dubious “authorities.”

As NLPC explains in its report on Bank of America:

The proponents rely on corporate media-driven narratives which portend extreme climate catastrophe, that is inconsistent with sound scientific principles and are unlikely. Therefore, above and beyond the Company’s flawed rationale for opposing the three proposals, the urgent climate mitigation strategies demanded by the proponents are unjustified.

Instead, we ask shareholders to consider the dubious “risks” of climate change versus the actual global economic and health risks of energy shortages caused by the activists’ war against fossil fuels, and versus the unviable, unrealistic near-term transition to renewable energy.

In each of its reports on the four banks, NLPC points out the flaws in the activists’ proposals regarding:

  • “Research” that isn’t really research, but is instead the product of the politicized United Nations, so-called “Net Zero” alliances, and the ineffective and non-binding Paris Climate Agreement;
  • “Research” that is distorted by, for example, the discredited “hockey stick” chart that was removed from UN IPCC reports for years until it magically reappeared in its Sixth Assessment Report (AR6);
  • Exaggerated emphasis on unrealistic, worst-case scenario outcomes that are embraced by sensationalist corporate media organizations;
  • Absurd expectations placed upon nonviable renewable power sources that cannot be expected to replace fossil fuels to meet ever-increasing energy demand;
  • Ignored environmental and humanitarian impacts due to the emphasis on renewables, such as their need for massive metals extractions, land use and destruction, and dependence on slave labor.

Among the demands by the climate activist shareholders are for the banks to implement a “time-bound phase-out of…lending and underwriting to projects and companies engaging in new fossil fuel exploration and development.”

Regrettably, rather than stand up to the climate activist bullies, the banks’ responses to their proposals state that they are addressing Net Zero and emissions goals, and thus the proposals are unnecessary.

“These and other big banks have cowered in fear for decades before the propagandists who have brought climate alarm to every shareholder meeting the last couple of decades,” said Paul Chesser, director of the Corporate Integrity Project for NLPC.

“It’s time for these boards of directors and C-suite occupants to grow a spine, gain an understanding of the actual science as informed by real, observed data, and perhaps take a remedial course in Energy Physics 101.”

Founded in 1991, NLPC promotes ethics in public life and government accountability through research, investigation, education, and legal action.

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