Major banks around the world continue to finance trillions of dollars’ worth of fossil fuel companies.
A new report, released Wednesday from a collection of climate organizations and titled Banking on Climate Chaos 2021, finds that 60 of the world’s largest commercial and investment banks have collectively invested $ 3.8 trillion in fossil fuels from 2016 to 2020. All five after the Paris Agreement. signed.
“This report serves as a reality check for banks who think vague ‘net zero’ targets are enough to stop the climate crisis,” says Lorne Stockman, senior research analyst at Oil Change International, one of the organizations. who write the report. in a statement issued with the report. “Our future goes where the money flows, and by 2020 these banks have invested billions to lock us in further climate chaos.”
On an annual basis, total fossil fuel financing fell 9% in 2020. But the report attributes this to demand restrictions related to Covid-19.
The report also found that “fossil fuel financing … from the world’s 60 largest commercial and investment banks was higher in 2020 than in 2016,” the first full year the Paris climate agreement was in effect. It is worth noting that President Donald Trump withdrew from the international agreement in 2017. President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement on his first day in office.
The three banks that did the most fossil fuel financing in 2020, according to the report, were JPMorgan Chase with $ 51.3 billion; Citi at $ 48.4 billion; and Bank of America with $ 42.1 billion.
A representative for JPMorgan Chase told CNBC Make It that the bank could not comment on a third-party report. But the bank steered CNBC Make It into its initiatives to tackle climate change, including “adopting a financing commitment that is aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement” and facilitating $ 200 billion in clean and sustainable financing. by 2025.
Citi directed CNBC Make It to a blog post published Tuesday by Val Smith, the bank’s Chief Sustainability Officer. In the post, Citi said it will work with existing fossil fuel banking clients to transition first to a public reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and then to a phase out of financing offered to companies that do not meet the requirements. carbon reduction standards.
“As the world’s most global bank, we recognize that we are connected to many carbon-intensive sectors that have driven global economic development for decades,” Smith wrote. “Our work to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 therefore makes it imperative that we work with our customers, including our fossil fuel customers, to help them and the energy systems we all depend on to transition to a zero net economy “.
Bank of America did not immediately respond to CNBC Make It’s request for comment.
The Banking on Climate Chaos 2021 report comes as indicators show that global economies are not currently on track to meet the emission reductions established as part of the Paris Agreement in 2015.
The 2020 report is the twelfth annual, although the scope of the report has expanded in that time. The report was a collaboration of seven non-profit organizations: Rainforest Action Network, Bank Track, Ind native Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, and Sierra Club.
The report’s authors aggregate bank loan and underwriting data using Bloomberg’s league credit methodology, which means that credit is divided among banks that play a leading role in a given transaction, and uses data from Bloomberg Finance LP and the Global Carbon Exit List.
Additionally, banks have an opportunity to comment on the findings. “The results of the draft report are shared with banks in advance, and they are given the opportunity to comment on funding and policy evaluations,” the report says.
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