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Citigroup’s green pledges lead to ‘ceasefire’

May 2003

A ‘ceasefire’ has been agreed between the world’s largest financial services company and an environmental non-governmental organization.

Rainforest Action Network has said it will suspend its media campaign against Citigroup while the New York firm undertakes to look at how it can reduce its impact on the environment.

Citigroup said it had been engaged in ‘ongoing dialogue’ with the pressure group and other stakeholders about its environmental impacts, and had now ‘entered into a period to explore comprehensive solutions to these issues’.

This will mean development of a new policy to seek to identify investments ‘in less carbon-intensive sources of energy’ and to report on the implications for greenhouse gas emissions of future power projects in which it is an investor.

It will also investigate ways to reduce its impact on ‘endangered ecosystems’ – possibly by modifying its investment approach to logging companies.

The network has run a long campaign – sometimes using television commercials – to persuade Citigroup to incorporate basic social and environmental standards into its investment process. It says the group is one of the world’s biggest funders of the fossil fuel and logging industries and is therefore ‘a major contributor to the global warming crisis’.

In a letter to its shareholders and the NGO, Citigroup said: ‘We are aware that many of our employees and customers care deeply about environmental and social issues and expect us to act in accordance with these values.’ It promised to adopt policies on endangered ecosystems ‘as set by other corporations’.




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