Climate change poses systemic risks to the global financial system and specific risks to financial institutions with exposure to the fossil fuel sector. JPMorgan Chase (“JPM”), the largest US bank, is by far the largest global lender and underwriter to the fossil fuel sector, providing nearly $196 billion in lending and underwriting in the three years (2016-2018) since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015. JPM is also a leading funder within many of the riskiest and most potentially harmful fossil fuel sectors, including Arctic oil and gas, tar sands, and coal mining. JPM will need to enhance its governance and management, as well as disclose and reduce its risks and financed emissions in order to protect long-term shareholder value. Thus far the company has not acted with the urgency and scale that the climate crisis requires.
JPM CEO Jamie Dimon is also the Chair of the company’s board of directors, which places the onus on the Lead Independent Director to provide the oversight and guidance that long-term shareholders require as the climate crisis escalates. However, this role is held by Lee Raymond, who is uniquely poorly qualified to provide the oversight needed to protect long-term shareholder value in the face of these risks: