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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

JPMorgan Chase said Monday that it won’t directly finance new oil and gas development in the Arctic and will significantly curtail its financing of the extraction and burning of coal.

Why it matters: JPMorgan is the world’s largest funder of fossil-fuel companies, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). The announcement follows similar moves by other big banks and investment firms, including Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

Driving the news: Timed to the company’s annual investor day on Tuesday, the announcement includes many parts — though restriction of fossil-fuel financing is potentially the most impactful.

  • The bank is prohibiting all kinds of direct financing worldwide for new or existing coal plants, unless the plants use technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions (which remains prohibitively expensive in most instances).
  • Earlier policies said the company wouldn’t finance coal plants or mines in developed countries only.
  • The company is restricting most services — including lending and access to capital markets — to companies that get most of their revenue from coal mining, and it's setting a 2024 goal to phase out remaining credit exposure to those companies.

The big picture: Grassroots and investor activists have been targeting major corporations, including JPMorgan, for their support of the fossil-fuel industry through protests and shareholder resolutions. This pressure is rising as governments fail to act and the world remains heavily reliant upon these fuels.

  • JPMorgan economists warned recently of "catastrophic outcomes" if climate change isn't adequately addressed, according to a client note viewed by the BBC.

By the numbers: JPMorgan is the largest lender to the oil, natural gas and coal industries, according to RAN.

  • The bank loaned $196 billion to fossil-fuel companies between 2016 and 2018, according to the RAN report.
  • That’s nearly a third higher than the bank that ranks second, Wells Fargo.

But, but, but: The restrictions affect a small portion of the company’s fossil-fuel businesses, according to Jason Opeña Disterhoft, a senior campaigner on these issues for RAN.

  • The biggest new restriction is on financing for companies whose businesses are more than 50% coal mining, which amounts to less than 0.6% of its overall $196 billion lending to the sector over the last three years, according to Disterhoft.
  • “The hard restrictions in this new policy only affect a small portion of their fossil lending,” Disterhoft told Axios Monday.
  • The restrictions don’t touch other major parts of the sector, such as pipelines outside of the Arctic, natural gas and oil sands.

One level deeper: The bank is also announcing it will finance $200 billion worth of projects supporting the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. Many (but not all) of those projects are related to climate change, though $50 billion is going toward green initiatives explicitly, per the company.

Go deeper: Goldman Sachs moves away from Arctic oil and coal

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

British national named in Colleyville synagogue standoff

A law enforcement vehicle sits near the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue on Jan. 16. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

British national Malik Faisal Akram took four people hostage at a Texas synagogue outside Fort Worth on Saturday, the FBI said in a statement.

State of play: Authorities had initially declined to release the name of the 44-year-old suspect or identify the hostages, all adults, though police chief Michael Miller confirmed that one of those held was Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who leads the congregation.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines — Experts warn of more COVID-19 variants after Omicron — WHO recommends 2 new treatments — What "mild" really means when it comes to Omicron — Deaths are climbing as cases skyrocket.
  2. Vaccines: America's vaccination drive runs out of gas— Puerto Rico expands booster shot requirements— Supreme Court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for large employers.
  3. Politics: Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health" — Focus group says Biden weak on COVID response, strong on democracy
  4. Economy: America's labor shortage is bigger than the pandemic— — CDC COVID guidance for cruise ships to be optional starting Saturday — The cost of testing.
  5. States: West Virginia governor feeling "extremely unwell" after positive test — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers — America struggles to keep schools open
  6. World: Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics — Teachers in France stage mass walkout over COVID protocols.
  7. Variant tracker
10 hours ago - Sports

Novak Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal

Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a forehand during a practice session ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 14, 2022. Photo: Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

Tennis star Novak Djokovic left Australia on Sunday evening, facing a three-year visa ban after an appeals court in the country revoked his visa.

Driving the news: Djokovic will not be able to defend his Australian Open title when the tournament starts in Melbourne. The World No. 1 is looking to break a three-way tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal for most Grand Slam men's singles titles.