UPDATE 1-JPMorgan Chase plans to unveil climate initiatives at investor day

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) executives plan to announce new climate-change initiatives on Tuesday, including restrictions on financing coal mining and Arctic drilling, as well as a $200 billion target to provide financing for sustainable projects.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks into the JP Morgan at Canary Wharf in London May 11, 2012. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez/File Photo

JPMorgan said on Monday that it would detail the initiatives at the bank’s investor day. The bank has faced years of criticism from environmentalists for its relationships with fossil-fuel companies, scrutiny it has sought to avoid at events like its annual shareholder meeting, which are open to the public. (reut.rs/38lCdmj)

The bank’s changing approach at its 13th annual investor day, which is invitation-only, comes as other big U.S. banks have announced similar initiatives.

JPMorgan said it will facilitate $200 billion of transactions in 2020 that “support climate action” and advance the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Those transactions are expected to be a mix of loans, underwriting, advisory services and investments, and will include $50 billion of financing for green initiatives, which was earmarked to count toward a 2017 target.

The bank said it hopes to finance projects that address more than just climate change, such as initiatives aimed at improving social and economic development, like infrastructure, access to affordable housing and health care.

The bank said it will also stop providing financing for new oil and gas developments in the Arctic, and will expand restrictions on its financing of coal mining and coal-fired power.

Environmental activist group Rainforest Action Network said it welcomed the bank’s new restrictions on providing financing to coal companies, but said the bank provides far financing deals for fossil fuel companies than coal companies.

“Their coal mining financing represented less than 1% of their overall fossil financing” in recent years, said Jason Disterhoft, a climate and energy senior campaigner with Rainforest Action Network. “We need to see much more from them, particularly in terms of phasing out their fossil financing.”

The bank declined to comment on the amount of previous revenues gained from this type of lending.

Late last year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) also swore off providing new loans for Arctic drilling or thermal coal mines. (reut.rs/34sOVga)

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by David Gregorio and Sam Holmes

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