Bank of America is cutting off its financing for coal extraction projects, the company announced at its shareholder meeting Wednesday. “With regard to coal, over the past several years, we have been gradually and consistently reducing our credit exposure to companies focused on coal mining,” said Andrew Plepler, Bank of America’s Corporate Social Responsibility executive, at the meeting. The new policy, he said, “reflects our decision to continue to reduce our credit exposure, over time, to the coal mining sector globally.” “Today, our renewable energy portfolio is more than three times as large as our coal extraction portfolio,” Plepler continued. “The transition from high-carbon energy to low-carbon energy will continue. At Bank of America, we will continue to do our part to accelerate this transition for our customers, clients and communities.” It’s a shift for one of the largest banks in the United States that has, at least in the past, been a big financier of coal projects. Environmental groups have been pressuring the bank to stop financing coal operations for years, and praised Wednesday’s move.
Photo Credit: John Vlahakis