Bank of America to unveil climate change impact of loans

Investment firm to report the carbon emissions from its lending and investments.

Bank of America Corp. joined a growing list of U.S. banks that plan to boost their disclosures about how their lending activities contribute to global warming.

Bank of America signed up with the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials, which is developing a common methodology to assess greenhouse gas emissions from loans and investments made by firms in the financial sector.

“By joining PCAF, we are helping to drive a consistent framework for institutions to measure financed emissions, as well as providing a useful tool in the management of these emissions, which is a critical component when addressing climate change,” Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne Finucane said in a statement on Wednesday.

U.S. banks, which are the biggest financiers of fossil-fuel companies, have lagged some of their European counterparts in measuring how much of their lending contributes to global warming. Bank of America ranks as the fourth-largest provider of loans and bonds to corporate emitters behind JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc. since the end of 2015, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

[More: Morgan Stanley to report on climate change impact of loans]

PCAF, which was started last year, is developing a global accounting standard for the financial sector. About 70 firms with $9 trillion in assets are part of the initiative including Amalgamated Bank and ABN Amro Bank NV. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup also have joined PCAF.

New York-based Citigroup said Wednesday that it will measure and disclose emissions tied to its lending portfolio and is working to finance $250 billion of sustainable activities by 2025.

[More: Banks to help consumers buy greener]

Bank of America, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the second-largest U.S. bank by assets.