The world’s largest investment banks are funding hundreds of billions of dollars into fossil fuels.
That’s according to analysis from British newspaper the Guardian, which, using data from Bloomberg as well as publicly available filings, teamed up with Rainforest Action Network to find that the world’s largest investment banks had funnelled $713.3 billion worth of funding into fossil fuels since 2016.
Using the data, the British paper found that JPMorgan was the biggest culprit when it came to providing “loans, equity issuances, and debt underwriting” to companies working within the various sectors that use fossil fuels, providing more than $75 billion between 2016 and mid-2019.
Markets Insider reported last week that Goldman Sachs says climate change is “at the top of investors minds,” while JPMorgan said that the past two years have been a “watershed” moment for climate change awareness.
Citigroup, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo also were noted by the Guardian as providing huge amounts of funding for fossil fuel expansion — $52.8 billion, $48.6 billion, and $42.8 billion respectively.
The Guardian said that the $700 billion dollars had been going to the “aggressively expanding coal-mining operations, oil and gas companies, fracking firms and pipeline companies.”
Certain projects had also been highlighted in the report, such as over $80 billion in funding going to the Permian basin in Texas from JPMorgan and Bank of America. $1.7 billion worth of funding had also moved into projects focusing on oil and gas projects within the Arctic.
The newspaper noted that Barclays, one of the larger backers in the industry, has been declining in the amount it’s given — $13.1 billion in 2016 to $5.2 billion in 2018.
JPMorgan “said it recognised the complexity of climate change and actively engaged with stakeholders on the issue,” the Guardian wrote.
“Wells Fargo said it carried out enhanced checks on its energy clients, which represented a small part of its overall business,” the newspaper said.
JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo did not respond immediately for comment to Markets Insider.
The Guardian quoted Barclays’ global head of sustainability and citizenship as saying:
“We can all sit around pointing fingers at each other, but that doesn’t help solve what is a really complex and multifaceted problem. What can help solve the problem is, firstly, the voluntary mechanisms we are working on, like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and then the new attention from regulators.”
“The new requirements make people working in banks think about climate change as a double-sided coin, to look at the risks within our portfolio, but also thinking about the opportunity side in terms of financing renewable energy. That’s leveraging the best of what a bank would offer.”
Avots: business insider