Multinational investment bank Morgan Stanley has approved an updated energy policy that rules out direct financing for crude oil and natural gas exploration and development in the Arctic, Kallanish Energy reports.
The new policy specifically bans such activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on Alaska’s North Slope.
“We will not directly finance new oil and gas exploration and development in the Arctic, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” it said in the 12-page policy document.
It was approved last Thursday by the company.
That makes Morgan Stanley the fifth major U.S. bank to say no to Arctic drilling. It joins Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup that have rejected such investments since last December.
About a dozen international banks have adopted similar policies against Arctic drilling.
That leaves Bank of America as the only major U.S. bank not to rule out financing of the Arctic refuge, said the Sierra Club and other critics.
The Trump administration and the state of Alaska want to expand drilling in the refuge although that plan is strongly opposed by Democrats and environmental groups.
The Morgan Stanley policy also eliminates direct funding for new coal-fired power plants without carbon capture and thermal coal mines and will phase out financing of thermal coal mining companies. It will not fund mountaintop removal coal projects.
The policy allows funding for hydraulic fracturing, oil sands and deepwater drilling with thorough reviews.