Banks suddenly threaten to abandon the Glasgow GFANZ “climate action” group
It was the massive miracle-funding coalition of Glasgow, but it is already starting to unravel as the banks figure out that conspiring to force “climate action” puts them at risk of antitrust suits.
A month ago, I wrote that 19 US States were pointing out that it’s not OK for asset managers like BlackRock and co to join together in cartels to block investment in fossil fuels. These corporations bragged about belonging to groups like GFANZ (the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero) as if it made them into saintly environmentalists. But belonging to the group meant they are also effectively restraining trade, reducing competition and acting against the interests of their clients and against the wishes of voters.
Don’t underestimate how important this is or how ugly these monster cartels are: GFANZ has attracted some 500 members which control $130 trillion in assets. But the carbon targets they are told to aim for are set by the UN through something called the Race-To-Zero campaign. So, this is a quasi-World Government in cahoots with world bankers. Like a Great White Shark meets a pod of Orcas. Democracy be damned. The voters can vote for cheap energy but if the moneymen and the UN don’t want you to use coal and oil, too bad. It’s a brazen move by the UN and multinational conglomerates to de facto force policies on nations that the citizens have no say in.
UPDATE: Let’s put this win in perspective — with 500 financial entities enforcing the UN decree on fossil fuel power we were looking at an effective One World Government in control. The UN could have crushed Western power while promoting China. The 19 US State AGs are stopping that. It’s not the end of this battle, but we were poised on the edge of the abyss, and we stepped back. That’s a win…
But (hallalujah) it is illegal for groups that are supposed to serve the market, to collude to distort the market:
Tom Metcalf, Alastair Marsh and Natasha White, Bloomberg
Banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley may leave the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, Mark Carney’s coalition to fight climate change, because they fear the organization’s strict requirements for decarbonization may make them legally vulnerable.
As it is, the banks were already feeling “blindsided” by the UN:
The targets for GFANZ members are set by the United Nations-backed Race to Zero campaign, and banks are griping that they’ve been blindsided by changes to its guidance since they joined. That includes the instruction that members shouldn’t support any “new coal projects,” which prompted fears among banks that they could face legal challenges from some US states that effectively require lenders to finance coal.
The UN effectively told the banks and asset managers to get out of coal, and they had only one year to comply:
The banks’ misgivings surfaced at recent meetings after Race to Zero completed its annual review and then in June issued more stringent decarbonization targets. Among them was an explicit requirement “to phase down and out unabated fossil fuels, including coal.” Existing members of the coalition were given one year to comply or face expulsion; new members were required to immediately align.
Race To Zero may look like a quaint little NGO but the website is hosted right there on the United Nations UNFCCC web page.
Then 19 US States threatened them with Antitrust suits
From the letter from 19 State Attorney Generals to BlackRock last month:
Group boycotts, restraining trade, or concerted refusals to deal, “clearly run afoul of” Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Section 1 prohibits “[e]very . . . combination . . ., or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce.”
“BlackRock’s actions appear to intentionally restrain and harm the competitiveness of the energy markets.”
Looks like a legal crisis. Race-to-Zero apparently realize how toxic this is, and they’ve already reworded their guidance.
Race to Zero… said it was aware “there may be cause for legal concern” around these areas while reaffirming its members have always been required to phase out coal and align to the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The guidance went too far, and it has been changed, Carney said…
Mark Carney is the head of GFANZ and former Central Banker — he once was the Governor of The Bank of England. Naturally he’s only doing this to make the world a better place.
This has legal parallels in many nations
Tell your elected representatives. Spread the word. Send a letter to your favourite banker. The more members of GFANZ that feel the heat, the better — and this includes asset managers, retirement funds, bankers, insurers and financial services.
Just as an example, our Australian ACCC defines a Cartel, thus:
Businesses that make agreements with their competitors to fix prices, rig bids, share markets or restrict outputs are breaking laws and stealing from consumers and businesses by inflating prices, reducing choices and damaging the economy.
At the same time GFANZ defines itself as a group deliberately favoring one kind of business over another:
“Grounded in the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, our pledge is to mobilise finance at scale to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050″
So GFANZ is a coordinated cartel by definition. It is designed to punish fossil fuel companies that are operating legally, while promoting other companies which make energy the way the cartel prefers, and bankers that were so proud of themselves to join last year are now heading out the door. Even if GFANZ dilutes its pledges to nothing and the bankers stay on board, the 19 US State Governments have extracted teeth. It’s a win.
- 19 US States fight back against BlackRock — the Political Climate Police disguised as a Monster Investment Fund
- The dark bubble: There’s a reason everything seems to be going off the rails simultaneously
- Like a Banker-Belt-n-Road plan, BlackRock give Australia batteries we don’t need with ESG strings attached
h/t Willie Soon
September 22, 2022