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Learn how Wells Fargo is working to help drive down greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

Aligning our financing activities to net zero

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Our 2050 net-zero GHG emissions goal

Climate change is one of the most urgent environmental and social issues of our time, and financial institutions like Wells Fargo can play a critical role in helping address it by supporting our clients during the transition to a low-carbon future.

Wells Fargo has set a goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050, including client emissions attributable to our financing. To align our actions with our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, we developed the Wells Fargo CO2eMissionService Mark.

Executive Summary [PDF]
Methodology Report [PDF]
July 2023 Supplement [PDF]

Our methodology framework and sectoral approach

We set separate targets by sector, prioritizing high-emitting sectors, rather than a global target for our financial portfolio. This approach recognizes that each sector of the real economy is unique and will have its own decarbonization pathway.


Select a sector and define activities and emissions in scope


Evaluate climate scenario and derive benchmark


Select metric for benchmark and target


Set sector-specific target


Measure portfolio alignment and track progress

2030 Sector Targets

Using the framework above, we set interim targets for the following sectors.

Oil & Gas Sector

  • Exploration and Production (Scopes 1, 2, and 3, category 11 [use of sold products])
  • Refining (Scopes 1 and 2)


Absolute emissions


97.7 Mt CO2e1 (as of December 31, 2019)

2030 Target

72.3 Mt CO2e

1. Million metric tons (Mt) carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e)

2030 Sector Targets

Using the framework above, we set interim targets for the following sectors.

Where we go from here

We are mindful that realizing these and future targets will require the commercialization of new decarbonizing technologies, shifts in business models and consumer behavior, supportive government policies, and public investment. We are committed to working across our stakeholder network to support this collective effort.

What does Wells Fargo’s goal of “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050” mean?

“Net zero” means the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed. A “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050” goal is grounded in an effort to limit the Earth’s average temperature rise to no more than 1.5 ̊ C above pre-industrial levels. That is why the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal of 1.5 ̊ C is often expressed as “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Wells Fargo’s net-zero goal includes emissions associated with our operations, as well as client emissions attributable to our financing.

What target metric is Wells Fargo using for its client portfolios?

We select metrics for our benchmarks and targets that are informed by the transition pathways for the sector outlined in climate scenarios. We consider two quantitative metrics – an absolute emissions metric or an emissions intensity metric.

An absolute emissions metric refers to the total quantity of greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere (e.g., million metric tons of C02e). An intensity metric is expressed as a ratio of absolute emissions over a unit of output. The choice between the metrics is often determined based on sector idiosyncrasies.

For more information about our targets for specific sectors, please reference the CO2eMission documents linked at the top of this page.

How does Wells Fargo calculate client emissions attributable to its financing?

We calculate a client’s emissions intensity or absolute emissions by considering value chain activities and emissions in scope, the metric selected (an emissions intensity metric or absolute emissions metric), and the greenhouse gases covered in the targets.

To quantify our clients’ emissions, we evaluate and prioritize available data sources on a sector-by-sector basis. As we evaluate sector-specific emissions data, we consider the appropriateness of company-reported data disclosed through frameworks. We also consider sector-specific, asset-level data sets collated by third-party data providers, which quantify emissions from individual physical assets (e.g., power plants or oil and gas wells) within a sector, attributing the associated emissions to the parent companies that own these facilities.

We attribute a client’s respective absolute emissions or emissions intensity to our financing activities by developing an attribution factor and then multiplying the attribution factor by the client’s emissions.

How did Wells Fargo develop these interim targets?

We developed a methodology — which we’ve named CO2eMission — for setting interim, emissions-based targets to guide the alignment of our financial portfolios to the goals of the Paris Agreement by 2050. CO2eMission relies upon externally developed climate scenarios to construct a benchmark that defines the downward trajectory of emissions attributable to a given financial portfolio over time required to reach net zero by 2050. We use the scenario benchmark to set interim portfolio targets.

Note: In setting an interim target for the Aviation sector, we departed, in part, from our approach for other sectors and set a target that is not based on a climate scenario aligned to net zero by 2050. For more information about the Aviation target setting, please reference the CO2eMission July 2023 Supplement linked at the top of this page.

Will you cease doing business with customers who aren’t making satisfactory progress in reducing climate impacts in their respective sectors?

The targets that we set are sector-specific, not client-specific. We intend to align these portfolios to our net-zero goal by engaging with clients and helping them finance technologies that are key to a low-carbon future. While many of our clients have also set goals of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we acknowledge that transition strategies will differ among our clients.

We recognize that different economic sectors will move at varying speeds as the economy-wide transition to net zero accelerates. Many sectors have already made substantial progress defining pathways to reach and perhaps even exceed this ambition, while other sectors will require further innovation to align with net-zero pathways.

We value the long-term relationships we have built with our clients, in many cases over decades. We intend to support clients through the low-carbon transition and believe that engagement rather than divestment is the fastest pathway to achieving economy-wide net-zero ambitions.

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