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Major US banks threaten to leave UN climate alliance


(Reuters) — Major U.S. banks have threatened to leave the United Nations climate financial alliance over legal risks, the Financial Times reported Wednesday, citing several people involved in internal talks.

Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Bank of America are among the banks that are weighing an exit as they fear being sued over the alliance's stringent decarbonization commitments, the report said.

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, set up in 2021 by former Bank of England governor Mark Carney, is a coalition of assets managers, banks and insurance companies representing $130 trillion in assets directed toward tackling climate change.

Some members of the alliance have recently said that they “feel blindsided by tougher UN climate criteria and are worried about the legal risks of participation,” the report said.

JPMorgan declined to comment, while Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and GFANZ did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment outside business hours.

The banks' legal departments are particularly anxious about U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules around climate-risk disclosures, the report said. The SEC will soon require formal disclosures in annual reports about governance, risk management and strategy with respect to climate change.

The banks have also complained that the demands placed on them are not supported by enough government action on climate change.

GFANZ earlier said it planned to release a series of frameworks, white papers and other guidance to help its members reach their climate goals as it prepares for the next U.N. climate summit in Egypt in November.