EXCLUSIVE: Nineteen Republican-led states are launching an investigation into six large U.S. banks that will examine their involvement in the United Nations’ "Net-Zero Banking Alliance," which they say is "killing" American companies.
The states, led by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, oppose the UN's environmental, social, governance (ESG) policies that require banks in the alliance to set carbon dioxide emission reduction targets in their lending and investment portfolios, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
Many of America’s largest banks, investment managers like BlackRock and Big Tech companies such as Microsoft have pledged to use ESG scores to help transform society to remain in line with numerous left-wing goals, including those of the Biden administration, especially those related to climate change.
Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo were served Wednesday by the states with civil investigative demands, which acts as a subpoena, for the requested information.
These civil investigative demands include identifying which Global Climate Initiatives each bank is affiliated with, which groups or divisions within the banks are responsible for ESG implementation, and to what extent the banks' CEOs have been involved, among others.
"The Net-Zero Banking Alliance is a massive worldwide agreement by major banking institutions, overseen by the U.N., to starve companies engaged in fossil fuel-related activities of credit on national and international markets. Missouri farmers, oil leasing companies, and other businesses that are vital to Missouri’s and America’s economy will be unable to get a loan because of this alliance," Schmitt told FOX Business.
"We are leading a coalition investigating banks for ceding authority to the U.N., which will only result in the killing of American companies that don’t subscribe to the woke, climate agenda. These banks are accountable to American laws - we don’t let international bodies set the standards for our businesses," Schmitt said.
Missouri, Arizona, Kentucky and Texas are states taking the lead in the investigation. Other participating states include Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and four other states who cannot be named due to confidentiality requirements.
Requests for comment on the probe were not immediately returned Wednesday by Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo. JPMorgan Chase declined to comment.
ESG policies have been scrutinized recently by top policymakers across the country.
Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed legislation that would target ESG standards in order to protect individual liberty and promote free-market economics.
His bill, which will be introduced during the 2023 legislative session, would "Prohibit big banks, credit card companies and money transmitters from discriminating against customers for their religious, political, or social beliefs."
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, launched a campaign last month against ESG policies that it says are being used by the left as a social credit score to force businesses and financial institutions to adopt progressive ideologies across the globe.
FOX Business' Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.