Amazon Watch Statement: Goldman Sachs' Climate Action Is Not Enough

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Tomorrow, Goldman Sachs – one of the largest investment banking institutions in the world – will hold its Annual General Meeting. Goldman's CEO, David Solomon, has placed a greater strategic emphasis on "sustainable investment", writing, "[t]here is not only an urgent need to act, but also a powerful business and investing case to do so." In late 2019, the bank adopted new policies excluding financing for Arctic oil drilling and coal projects.

While these new policies are steps in the right direction, Goldman Sachs should have also enacted sweeping policies to address fossil fuels in the Amazon. Amazon Watch research found that between (Q3)2017 and (Q4)2019, Goldman Sachs contributed $998 million in debt financing for the expansion of oil operations in the Amazon rainforest.

Moira Birss, Climate and Finance Director at Amazon Watch, issued the following statement:

"We recognize Goldman's efforts to improve its policies on coal and Arctic oil projects, however, the company's climate work is far from over.

"Goldman has poured nearly a billion dollars into oil companies expanding drilling in the Amazon rainforest in the territories of the Wampis, Siona, Achuar, Sapara, Kichwa, and other Indigenous peoples, all of whom have vehemently opposed drilling.

"If Goldman truly wants to be a 'sustainability' leader, it must end corporate financing for fossil fuel expansion in the Amazon and around the world – particularly when that expansion happens on Indigenous territories."


A March 2020 Amazon Watch report, Investing in Amazon Crude, uncovered Goldman Sachs' role as a top financier of Amazon crude oil: between (Q3)2017 and (Q4)2019, Goldman Sachs contributed $998 million in debt financing enabling the regional expansion of Amazon crude oil operations of Andes Petroleum and GeoPark

GeoPark GeoPark is a Chile-based oil and gas company with an oil lease in the Peruvian Amazon that overlaps Achuar and Wampis territory. GeoPark just completed the purchase of Amerisur, a British company with leases in the Colombian Amazon that overlap with Siona and traditional campesino territory. See pages 22-25 of Investing in Amazon Crude for details.

Andes Petroleum is a petroleum exploration and production partnership of two Chinese state-owned companies, which has held leases for blocks in the Ecuadorian Amazon overlapping the territory of the Kichwa of Sarayaku and the Sapara. The Sapara nation was included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2001. See pages 18-19 of Investing in Amazon Crude for details.

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