Republicans probing banks over climate coordination impacting farmers

'Our nation’s farmers should not be subjected to the political demands of an unelected international organization,' GOP lawmakers write

 A group of 10 House Republicans is probing some of the nation's largest banks over their involvement in an international alliance that seeks to pursue a green transition that may greatly impact the agriculture sector.

The Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois, penned a letter on Wednesday morning to top executives of Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, warning about their membership in the so-called Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). They said the NZBA's coordinated actions could be particularly detrimental to American farmers.

"At a time when global demand for food is rising and wars continue to affect the global supply of food and agriculture inputs, we cannot sacrifice our nation’s food security to the demands of the far-left climate agenda," they wrote to the banks. "We urge you to trust American farmers to do what is best for their land to produce the food, fuel, and fiber on which our country and world rely."

"Our nation’s farmers should not be subjected to the political demands of an unelected international organization," they added. "Since the 1940s, American farmers, ranchers, and foresters have increased agriculture outputs nearly threefold with little to no change in inputs; this is a significant achievement in on-farm productivity and efficiency. We should focus on policies that foster the continued responsible growth of the American agriculture industry, not policies that will shutter it."


Mary Miller, a Republican from Illinois, speaks during a news conference held to call for the firing of Anthony Fauci from his position as director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on June 15, 2021. (Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Miller and the other Republicans also stated their support for a letter 12 GOP state agriculture commissioners sent late last month to the six banks, similarly expressing concern about their NZBA involvement. The state officials, led by Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tyler Harper, said American farmers "should not be forced to put our food supply at risk."

According to that letter, the banks' net-zero commitments made under the NZBA's framework may have severe consequences for farmers, such as cutting beef and livestock consumption, forcing a switch to "inefficient electric farm equipment," and moving away from the nitrogen fertilizer "necessary for American agriculture to thrive." Overall, NZBA's actions could increase costs and decrease food production, the letter said.


"Net zero banking is just another attempt for the far left to push their green bad deal on the American people," Miller told Fox News Digital in a statement. "ESG policies will only hurt us and jeopardize our food security."

This aerial view shows sprinklers watering a lettuce field in Holtville, California, on February 9, 2023. - A blanket of crops covers the floor of the Imperial Valley in southern California, a patchwork of vibrant greens given life by the Colorado River in a landscape bleached by the desert sun. But as a decades-long drought dessicates the US West and the once-mighty river dwindles, questions are being asked about why a handful of farmers are allowed to take as much water as all of Nevada and Arizona combined. (Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER / AFP) (Photo by SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

An aerial view shows sprinklers watering a lettuce field in Holtville, California, on Feb. 9, 2023. (SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the United Nations, which organized the formation of the NZBA, the alliance is a global group of financial institutions "committed to financing ambitious climate action" to transition the economy to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The NZBA's framework encourages its member banks to additionally "design, set, and achieve" science-based, net-zero targets for 2030 or sooner.


The alliance issued a progress report during the most recent U.N. climate summit in Dubai, highlighting how two-thirds of its growing membership pool had made aggressive green energy commitments. The report further noted that member banks are increasingly targeting the power sector; the fossil fuel industry; iron, steel and cement manufacturing; and real estate.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, left, and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, right. JPMorgan Chase departed and BlackRock scaled down participation in the Climate Action 100+ investor group last week amid pressure from Republicans. (Getty Images)

The Republicans' letter, meanwhile, comes a week after JPMorgan Chase, State Street Global Advisors and BlackRock exited or scaled down involvement in the Climate Action 100+ investor group, another U.N.-organized alliance of banks seeking to fight climate change.

"This is great news because you're supposed to make investment decisions based on just good common business sense, your fiduciary responsibility to your investors, not based on left-wing woke politics," House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who has probed financial institutions over their climate actions, told Fox News Digital after the banks withdrew from Climate Action 100+. 

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