Goldman Sachs is the first bank that will not finance fresh oil projects in the Arctic.
Environment activists at Sierra Club have lauded Goldman Sachs, as it has abstained from providing loans for fresh oil explorations in the Arctic.
The Arctic region is a very fragile area that supports Indigenous People, who have been living here for centuries. The Arctic is facing severe climate threats. It is warming fast and raising sea levels.
“The bank will not support any oil exploration in the Arctic”, says Goldman Sachs.
The issue has been discussed by various environmental groups, the Gwich’in Steering Committee and various indigenous groups along with Goldman Sachs.
Executive Director Bernadette Demientieff from Gwich’in Steering Committee has said that the Arctic Refuge is not the place for drilling. The Committee is glad that Goldman Sachs has recognized this and refused funds for oil exploration in this region.
Ben Cushing, the campaign representative for Sierra Club, has lauded Goldman Sachs for recognizing the true worth of the Arctic Refuge, which would be destroyed if oil exploration takes place.
Activist Charlie Cray who works for the non-profit organization Greenpeace, however, noted that multinational investment banks continue to finance fossil fuel endeavors that are a threat to the planet. But large banks like Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland have also stopped funding such drillings in the Arctic.
Cray states that such banks cans shift their focus from oil and gas projects to renewable energy to make investments, which will be of use to the environment, as well as to address the devastating climate change issue.
Goldman Sachs on its website has said that projects that will degrade a natural habitat will not be provided funds. However, investment will be made on those projects that concentrate on climate transition and growth.
This is a show of strong financial restriction by a major U.S. bank towards fossil financing.