Big banks failing to quit fossil fuel, despite climate pledges

(Eco Business, 1 Apr 2022) The world’s top banks pumped US$742 billion into fossil fuels in 2021, only slightly less than 2020, analysis shows.

Global banks provided US$742 billion in financing to coal, oil and gas companies last year, despite a plethora of climate pledges made to an industry alliance claiming to be making efforts towards achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, according to analysis by an environmental group.  

The world’s largest 60 lenders provided slightly less money for fossil fuels in 2021 than the year before, when US$750 billion was pumped into dirty energy, according to the annual report produced by a coalition of campaign groups under the umbrella of the Rainforest Action Network (RAN). 

Four American banks dominate the financing of fossil fuels with JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America together accounting for one quarter of all fossil fuel financing identified over the past six years, according to RAN’s report. 

JPMorgan’s funding of fossil fuels companies in 2021 stood at US$61.7 billion, up about US$10 billion from the previous year. 

The bank said in an emailed statement that it was “taking pragmatic steps” to meet its emission reduction targets “while helping the world meet its energy needs securely and affordably”.

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Eco Business, 1 Apr 2022: Big banks failing to quit fossil fuel, despite climate pledges