News Roundups

BP and Shell's climate pledge hypocrisy, big banks inadequate climate plans, and more

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from September 30, 2020.

Revealed: BP And Shell Back Anti-Climate Lobby Groups Despite Pledges

Earlier this year, oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell assessed the climate lobbying done by trade associations they have been involved with, and publicly quit a handful of high-profile industry groups campaigning to undermine regulations to reduce greenhouse gases.

The effort was part of a vow to increase corporate transparency and bring planet-heating emissions to net zero over the next few decades

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Judge grants injunction blocking Peabody-Arch joint venture in western US coal

A federal judge ruled that the Federal Trade Commission demonstrated a proposed joint venture between Arch Resources Inc. and Peabody Energy Corp. would harm competition in the southern Powder River Basin coal market and granted a motion for a preliminary injunction blocking the deal.

Peabody and Arch previously argued that the deal was crucial to competing against other fuel sources such as renewable energy and natural gas, but U.S. District Judge Sarah Pitlyk granted the FTC's injunction through a Sept. 29 filing with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Coal companies in the Powder River Basin, which produce thermal coal for power generation and have fewer outlets to other markets than other producers in the U.S., are particularly under stress as domestic demand for coal has declined sharply.

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Green destination, no road map

Morgan Stanley became the first major U.S. bank to set a goal of net-zero financed emissions by 2050, the latest sign that the financial sector aims to tally its contribution to climate change and mitigate the risks it poses to their assets.

But last week's announcement was bare boned. It came with no road map for how to achieve that target, no interim milestones to meet between now and the next three decades, and no clarity on whether it plans to phase out investments in the fossil fuel industry or in companies that contribute to deforestation. Morgan Stanley has invested nearly $92 billion in fossil fuels since 2016, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network. U.S. giants including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citi have all financed more than double that during the same time period.

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Fed’s Williams Upbeat On Outlook, Says More Fiscal Aid Would Help

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said Tuesday he is upbeat about the future of the U.S. economy, adding that he doesn’t see notable risks going forward when it comes to financial stability.

Mr. Williams did warn, however, that a failure by the broader government to deliver more aid likely would cause the economy to grow more slowly over time.

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