Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Dimon defends need for fossil-fuel investments to US Congress

Dimon defends need for fossil-fuel investments to US Congress
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon smiles as he leaves a meeting in New York. Jamie Dimon

JPMorgan Chase & Co CEO Jamie Dimon said that the US needs to invest in the fossil-fuel industry to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the long term and protect economic growth.

“We aren’t getting this one right,” Dimon said when asked for his stance on the nation’s energy strategy during testimony before Congress on Wednesday. “Investing in the oil and gas complex is good for reducing CO2.”

Dimon also answered multiple questions on environmental, social and governance investing. He said that there needs to be “more work” in making clear what ESG ratings are and what they mean.

When asked if Russia had been removed from JPMorgan’s ESG fund suite, Dimon said the bank had “probably” done so and smiled. He said the bank would be “happy” to provide a more precise answer.

Later in the hearing, Dimon and Wells Fargo & Co CEO Charlie Scharf were questioned about their support of the State Financial Officers Foundation, a Republican group that’s been criticising strategies that favour ESG over other investment types. Representative Sean Casten, a Democrat from Illinois, asked if they will stop funding SFOF, which he said is “spreading disinformation”. 

“If that were true, we would probably cancel it,” Dimon said. Scharf said he agreed.

In response to another question, Dimon said JPMorgan is getting requests from every government and central bank around the world about ESG, and expects to soon spend “hundreds of millions” of dollars on the matters. BM


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