BANK OF AMERICA INVESTS $300 BILLION IN LOW-CARBON BUSINESS

From Environmental Leader, April 4, 2019

Bank of America is committing $300 billion to low-carbon business activities by 2030 through their Environmental Business Unit. The bank aims to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon, sustainable economy through lending, investing, capital raising, advisory services, and developing financing solutions.

This represents the bank’s third Environmental Business Unit commitment. The first was issued in 2007. A second in 2013 called for deploying $125 billion by 2025, but Bank of America says they are on track to get there by the end of this year. Over the past 12 years, the bank has mobilized more than $126 billion.

“This enterprise-wide initiative is designed to unlock the necessary financing and investment to address the broad themes outlined in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals,” the bank said. Bank of America reported deploying more than $50 billion in 2018 to help a key subset of the SDGs.

According to Bank of America, examples of how the financial institution supports clients through environmental business include:

  • Issuing $4.35 billion in corporate green bonds since 2013.
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch has underwritten $38 billion in green bonds on behalf of 100 clients since 2007
  • The Bank of America Merrill Lynch Renewable Energy Finance team has been responsible for approximately $10.5 billion of renewable energy tax equity financing for wind and solar facilities.
  • Funding important sustainable projects that contributed a cumulative $35.6 billion to GDP, according to the consulting firm EY.

Sustainable investing has been increasing in the United States. In February, a survey from the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing and Bloomberg found that three-quarters of US asset managers say their firms now offer sustainable investing strategies, up from 65% in 2016. Last year a report from the US SIF Foundation concluded that American investors consider ESG factors across $12 trillion of professionally managed assets.

“Bank of America has a responsibility and an important role to play in helping to mitigate and build resilience to climate change by using our expertise and resources, as well as our ability to convene partners across sectors, to accelerate the transition from a high-carbon to a low-carbon society,” said vice chairman Anne Finucane.

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