Bank of America says it will adopt The Carbon Principles, a set of guidelines issued by J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley that make it tougher for investor-owned utilities to get financing for coal-fired power plants – in March, the banks announced that they want to extend the principles to municipal utilities.
The announcement comes on the same day that the bank’s CEO, Kenneth Lewis, was voted 2008’s Fossil Fool of the Year in an online contest sponsored by Rainforest Action Network, Energy Action Coalition and Co-op America. The groups say that Lewis was nominated for the award because the “financial giant is the leading financial backer of mountaintop removal coal mining in the United States and a top funder of new coal-fired power plants.”
In addition, protesters chained themselves to the doors of Bank of America in Boston’s Copley Square yesterday, The Boston Herald reports.
“The Carbon Principles are critical as we work to secure a more sustainable energy future,” said Lewis. “It is my hope that these principles, when combined with Bank of America’s commitment to assess the cost of carbon in our risk and underwriting process, will enable us to better evaluate the business models of utility sector companies and, ultimately, help them move to cleaner technologies in the future.”
Last year, Bank of America launched a $20 billion initiative to support environmentally sustainable business activity.
“We have the know-how to beat global warming. What we need is the leadership to make it happen, and Ken Lewis is providing that leadership,” said NRDC President Frances Beinecke.