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[greenyes] JP Morgan Goes "Green" - Power of Activists

[With the total blackout from power in Congress and the White House, it is
good to see how concerted organized action can still produce solid
constructive results for change, a fact which shows how out of phase the
current occupants in power are from the people. JP Morgan would not change
its stripes for activists had they not perceived it as necessary to be a
viable player in the marketplace.- Peter]


J.P. Morgan
Adopts 'Green'
Lending Policies
April 25, 2005

Following pressure by ecological activists and shareholder groups, J.P.
Morgan Chase & Co. will adopt sweeping guidelines that restrict its lending
and underwriting practices for industrial projects that are likely to have
an environmental impact.
The New York banking giant -- third largest in assets in the U.S. -- is
expected to issue a 10-page environmental policy today that takes an
aggressive stance on global warming, including tying carbon-dioxide
emissions to its loan-review process for power plants and other large
polluters. The bank also plans to calculate in loan reviews the financial
cost of greenhouse-gas emissions, such as the risk of a company losing
business to a competitor with lower emissions because it has a better public
And J.P. Morgan plans to lobby the U.S. government to adopt a national
policy on greenhouse-gas emissions, becoming the first big American bank to
pledge that kind of activism on such a contentious issue, according to
shareholder activists.
The bank's move, on the heels of activist campaigns that produced similar
pledges from Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., suggest that a shift
in tactics by the environmental movement is paying off. Green groups have
largely failed in efforts to lobby the Bush administration on oil drilling
and other issues. So they are pressuring corporations directly, hoping to
counter business activity that could harm the environment.
Large banks are a particularly important target because of their potential
role in financing activity such as energy development and logging. By
agreeing to put some limits on lending, banks could forgo some profitable
activity. But activists argue that eco-friendly policies can help banks
sidestep loan defaults and costly litigation associated with businesses such
as logging and mining.
"This is increasingly becoming the way all banks operate," says Steve
Lippman, vice president of social research at Trillium Asset Management, a
socially oriented investment firm based in Boston that helped lobby J.P.
Morgan. "J.P. Morgan is now raising the bar for the sector."

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Peter Anderson, President
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Madison, WI 53705-4964
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Fax: (608) 233-0011
Cell: (608) 698-1314
eMail: anderson@no.address

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