A report released by a coalition of environmental groups revealed that since the Paris climate accord took effect in 2016, the world’s 60 largest private banks have provided $5.5 trillion in financing to the fossil fuel industry, in against their commitments to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions as the deadline to prevent the worst impacts of climate change fast approaches.
The annual report titled “Banking on Climate Chaos“, written by the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, Sierra Club and Urgewald, and endorsed by 624 organizations from 75 countries, highlights the dissonance between banks. It vows to stop funding fossil fuels and its continued support for the sector.
The report highlights that the financial industry’s underwriting and lending practices are enabling new coal, oil and gas projects, despite the scientific consensus that fossil fuel expansion is incompatible with keeping global warming within 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
The report notes that in 2022 alone, the world’s largest private sector banks financed coal, oil and gas to the tune of $673 billion, and the fossil fuel industry made record profits of $4 trillion, mainly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sent energy prices skyrocketing.
Additionally, the banks invested $150 billion in the 100 corporations that drive fossil fuel production, including TC Energy, TotalEnergies, Venture Global, ConocoPhillips and Saudi Aramco.
New ranking: Top 60 dirtiest banks
- 1 RBC
- 2 JP Morgan
- 3 Wells Fargo
- 4 Bank of America
- 5 Citi
- 6 MUFG
- 7 Scotia Bank
- 8 TD
- 9 Mizuho
- 10 SMBC
- 11 ICBC (but China!)
- 12 BNP
Fossil Fuel Sector Trends
The 60 banks outlined in this report funneled $150 billion in 2022 to the top 100 companies expanding on fossil fuels, including TC Energy, TotalEnergies, Venture Global, ConocoPhillips, and Saudi Aramco. The top bankers of liquefied “natural” gas (LNG) in 2022 were Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Mizuho, ING, Citi and SMBC Group.
The major tar sands companies were run by the largest Canadian banks, TD, RBC and Bank of Montreal, which provided 89% of those funds. Chinese banks ICBC, the Agricultural Bank of China and the China Construction Bank led the way in financing Arctic oil and gas.
The Spanish bank Santander leads the financing for companies that extract in the Amazon biome. RBC and JPMorgan Chase are the top financiers of fractured oil and gas to 2022 and since the Paris Agreement.
European banks BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Japanese bank SMBC Group top the list of worst offshore oil and gas financiers for 2022.
Chinese banks CITIC, China Everbright Bank and Industrial Bank led the financing of coal mining, and 97% of the financing of coal power was provided by Chinese banks.
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