Goldman Sachs pledges to step away from oil and gas drilling in the Arctic

The banking giant has also promised to avoid financing projects in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and said it will not invest in new thermal coal mines anywhere in the world

Goldman Sachs has pledged not to finance new oil and gas exploration projects in the Arctic, making it the first major US bank to do so.

The banking giant has announced a raft of changes to its environmental policies, including promising to avoid investing in projects in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and committing not to invest in new thermal coal mines anywhere in the world.

As well as promising to step away from projects that “significantly convert or degrade a natural habitat”, the bank has also said it will invest $750 billion (£567.8bn) into areas that focus on climate transition and inclusive growth by 2030.

Goldman Sachs insists the raft of green measures is driven by environmental thinking but it has previously shown it considers shifting away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable investments a wise financial move.

The bank said: “We are committed to helping our clients position themselves for a future in which sustainability is core to all industries and integrated across markets, with successful commercial solutions.

“We will achieve this vision by doing what we do best — invest, finance, advise, and innovate — to drive global climate transition and inclusive growth strategies that accelerate positive change.”

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