Morgan Stanley publishes greenhouse gas emissions on loans & investments
Morgan Stanley will become the first major US bank to publish the greenhouse gas emissions its loans and investments carry, Politico reports.
The bank is joining the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials. This is a global body which has 66 financial company members managing a collective $5.3 trillion in assets.
The body will count the greenhouse gas emissions from Morgan Stanley’s projects and investments financed by asset managers, banks and other institutions.
The bank will sit on the group’s steering committee, which delivers final methodology for financial institutions to follow.
Fossil fuel exposure
Various financial regulators are mulling over whether to rule for greater disclosure from companies about climate risks their operations entail.
There is a burgeoning number of shareholders and investors worried over the exposure their investments could have to fossil fuels.
This is because many governments are setting ambitious carbon neutral policies. These policies are likely to hamper the use and distribution of fossil fuels.
According to Rainforest Action Network, since 2016 a total of 35 banks have poured a collective $2.7 trillion into fossil fuel projects.
Morgan Stanley takes first step
“This is a journey, and I think that this is an incredibly important piece of it, because as we all know it’s harder to make people respond to something when there’s no data, it’s hard to have data when you don’t have measurement,” Audrey Choi, chief sustainability officer for Morgan Stanley, tells Politico. “This is an important step towards getting more clarity.”
The bank has committed to financing $250 billion of low-carbon solutions by 2030.
Despite this step towards transparency, the bank has declined to reveal the number of fossil fuel projects and assets currently on its books.
More banks to come?
Morgan Stanley is playing a coordinating role with six other major US banks. This is according to Giel Linthorst, executive director for the partnership and director of sustainable investment at Navigant, a US consultancy firm.
“What I’ve seen with measuring financed emissions is that it really is a game changer to many financial institutions,” Linthorst tells Politico.
“Showing where emissions are in your portfolio really triggers discussions about what you can do about it.”