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Big Banks Making Big Green Moves

Big Banks have been making big green moves lately, MSNBC reports.

Wachovia, for instance, is rolling out green branches in California and Bank of America made one of its first loans under an environmental commitment to save a forest in Northern California.

Bank of America committed earlier this year to lend $20 billion over 10 years to support the growth of environmentally sustainable business practices.

Citi is investing $50 billion over the next 10 years to address global climate change through investments, financings and related activities to support the commercialization and growth of alternative energy and clean technology among the clients and markets it serves

HSBC will spend $90 million over five years on a “Global Environmental Efficiency Program” to reduce the bank’s environmental impact. Last month, HSBC announced a five-year, $100 million partnership to fund climate research through The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and WWF.

Wells Fargo has become one of the nation’s largest purchasers of renewable energy in the U.S. More than 40 percent of its electricity, nationwide, is offset with wind power. Wells Fargo has also partnered with Verde Energy to provide solar power financing options to residential and commercial customers nationwide. The bank also offers cardholders renewable energy reward options.

Last month, heads of more than 20 leading financial service companies that are members of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative told the G8 to back deep emission reduction targets, saying they fear that unchecked climate change is likely to lead to an increase in climate-related disasters, with “grave social and environmental harm” including annual economic losses that could rise as high as $1 trillion by 2040.

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