Three big U.S. banks have publicly announced break-ups with Arctic drilling in recent months, reflecting Wall Street’s increasing desire to cast itself as environmentally friendly amid a political firestorm in Alaska.
Banks and investment managers have been backing away from fossil-fuel development in the face of worsening climate change and pressure from activists, even as the United States has boosted oil and gas production to record levels.
Wells Fargo & Co said on Monday that it does not “directly” fund oil and gas projects in the Arctic region, and has not done so since 2018. The bank had hinted at that decision in previous statements about improving business practices but had not mentioned Arctic drilling specifically.
The bank’s statement followed similar moves announced by JPMorgan Chase & Co last week and Goldman Sachs Group Inc in December.