New Shareholder Proposal Raises Concern About Bank of America’s Refusal to Rule Out Financing for Arctic Drilling
Dear U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator and Members of Congress,
The following is a statement from Jonas D. Kron, Trillium’s Chief Advocacy Officer regarding the shareholder proposal filed by Trillium at Bank of America concerning financing Arctic oil and gas development and how the bank will address this significant risk. A similar proposal was filed at JPMorgan Chase in 2019 and played an important role in focusing JPMorgan’s attention on developing an Arctic policy. In March 2020, JPMorgan announced its commitment not to finance oil and gas developments in the Arctic.
Bank of America investors have a long list of reasons to be concerned about the reputational risks that Arctic drilling poses. Widespread opposition from the public, Capitol Hill, and the Gwich’in people of Alaska, not to mention a UN investigation suggest that the bank is looking down the barrel of a deep and powerful vein of criticism. To make matters worse, Bank of America is the last major U.S. bank not to commit to rejecting funding of oil and gas development in the Arctic.
Why Bank of America has stubbornly refused to join the mainstream position of its peers is incomprehensible.
Investors are deeply concerned about the impact that Arctic oil and gas development may have on the regional ecosystem, the Gwich’in, and the climate. CEO Brian Moynihan, as a signatory to the Business Roundtable Statement of Purpose of the Corporation, appears to share those concerns. This is an opportunity to put that commitment into action.
Trillium Asset Management has engaged companies for decades on Arctic drilling concerns for over 15 years. In addition to the 2019 shareholder proposal at JPMorgan Chase, Trillium has filed, on behalf of its clients, successful proposals on this issue at ConocoPhillips and BP dating back to 2002.