After going after Wall Street, WV Treasurer Riley Moore condemns UN’s Net-Zero Banking Alliance

14 March 2024- West Virginia State Treasurer Riley Moore today condemned new guidelines issued by the United Nations-backed Net-Zero Banking Alliance, which for the first time call on member banks to begin reporting emissions targets and fossil fuel transition plans related to their capital markets and investing activities.

“These guidelines represent the latest attempt by global elites to pressure banks into cutting off capital and divesting from reliable sources of energy like coal, oil and natural gas, which are the bedrock of our economy,” Treasurer Moore said.

This is the first time the UN-backed group has extended its targets to banks’ capital markets activities. The guidelines support the Paris Agreement and United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) goals which call for a “transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, in a just, orderly and equitable manner.”

The Net-Zero Banking Alliance consists of more than 140 global financial institutions – including several large U.S.-based firms – and those firms manage more than $74 trillion in capital worldwide, according to Reuters.

While the new guidelines encourage banks to act “independently” – which Reuters reported was an attempt to head off U.S. anti-trust concerns expressed by a number of officials, including West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey – Treasurer Moore said the guidelines violate the fiduciary duty banking institutions have to their clients and shareholders.

“Banks must make lending and investment decisions based on sound, objective financial metrics that serve the best interests of their shareholders and customers – not the political interests of a globalist climate cabal,” Treasurer Moore said. “Pressuring financial institutions to enact U.N. climate policies through their lending and capital market activities flies in the face of American capitalism and should be rejected outright.”

In February, Treasurer Moore commended some U.S. financial institutions for withdrawing from a separate organization, Climate Action 100+. He said banks should take similar action with the Net-Zero Banking Alliance.

“I call on all U.S. banks and financial institutions to withdraw from the Net-Zero Banking Alliance – along with other organizations like it – and reject these attempts to impose globalist climate policies on the American banking system,” Treasurer Moore said.

Over the last three years, Treasurer Moore has championed multiple efforts to oppose climate-based investment schemes and protect state funds from being managed by financial institutions attempting to diminish those same funds through coordinated climate activism.

In November 2021, Treasurer Moore announced a multi-state coalition of state Treasurers and financial officers who have committed to reforming their state banking contract process to prohibit awarding state banking contracts to financial institutions that are engaged in boycotts of America’s traditional energy industries.

The following January, Treasurer Moore became the first state official to divest roughly $8 billion from BlackRock over its activism. He also created the nation’s first Restricted Financial Institutions List, which renders firms ineligible for state banking contracts if they are engaged in boycotts of fossil fuel companies.