On Fraser’s first day as Citi CEO, a net-zero emissions pledge

On her first day as CEO, Citigroup’s Jane Fraser vowed that the bank would achieve net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions in its financing activities by 2050.

Citi will produce an initial plan for reaching the goal within the next year, Fraser said in a blog post Monday. It will include specific targets for carbon-intensive sectors such as energy to reduce their emissions by 2030, she said.

“The climate crisis is among the top critical challenges facing our global society and economy,” Citi CEO Jane Fraser wrote in a blog post Monday.


“The climate crisis is among the top critical challenges facing our global society and economy,” Fraser said. “We are committed to bringing as many clients as we can along with us on this journey and working with them relentlessly to get it right.”

Citigroup was the third-largest financier of fossil-fuel companies last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With its latest commitment, the bank is joining competitors Bank of America and Morgan Stanley, which have also promised recently to achieve net-zero emissions in their lending and underwriting activities.

Fraser, who succeeded Michael Corbat as CEO Monday, said her bank would be transparent and report on its progress along the way. Citigroup will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for its own operations by 2030, she said.

“There are 500 things she could announce on Day One,” Mindy Lubber, CEO of the nonprofit Ceres, which campaigns for sustainable investment, said in an interview. “The fact that she’s announcing this — a climate commitment on Day One — is a very clear signal that this is important to her and important to Citi.”

Citigroup has also put together an internal task force composed of leaders from across the company dedicated to helping it achieve the net-zero target. Executives from the firm’s trading and investment banking arms as well as members of the finance, risk and legal teams have joined the initiative.

“This needs to be a big-tent effort,” Val Smith, Citigroup’s chief sustainability officer, said in an interview. “And it’s something that everyone is really excited about and taking seriously.”

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