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JPMorgan Puts Weight Behind Climate Fight

The global finance community continues to get involved in the fight against climate change. The latest entrant into the fray is JPMorgan, which announced to employees this week that it had created an alternative energy investment unit and hired a former General Electric executive to run it.

The Financial Times reported that, in an internal memo sent this week, JPMorgan told employees that it had hired Vandana Gupta, who worked in GE's energy and power investment sectors, to run the alternative energy investment banking unit.

With interest in alternative energies at an all-time high, many financial institutions are clamoring to get invested in solar, wind, biofuels and other reduced-carbon energy technologies.

"Our view is that this is going to be a tremendous growth opportunity both in terms of the sector itself and a huge opportunity for investment banks," Doug Braunstein, JPMorgan's head of investment banking in the Americas, told the Financial Times.

Among the other banks that are heavily investing in alternative energies are Goldman Sachs, which has been involved with numerous high-profile green technology deals in recent years; Citigroup, which earlier this month announced a plan to invest $50 billion in carbon-reducing projects over the next ten years; and Credit Suisse, which created a renewable energy banking group last year and has begun financing alternative energy projects.

Earlier this month, JPMorgan also announced that, in order to increase awareness and understanding of the potential effects of climate change on financial markets, the company would make its climate change research available to the public on its website.

At, a series of research reports on the dangers of and investment opportunities from global climate change are available to download.

"This is about taking a leadership role on a very significant global issue," said Nick O'Donohoe, global head of research. "The analysis we have produced, and will continue to produce, in this area can be helpful to, not only clients, but academics, researchers, and governments as we address the growing concern of climate change."

Among the company's recent reports are "Capturing the Gains from Carbon Capture," "Global Utilities: Trading Climate Change;" "Coal and Carbon Controls;" and "Liability for Climate Change." Also available on the website is information and aggregated values for the JPMorgan Environmental Index-Carbon Beta, the first high-grade corporate bond index designed to address the risks of global warming.

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