British banks finance 805m tonnes of CO2 production a year

(The Guardian, 25 May 2021) Emissions from projects and companies backed by the City are nearly double those of the UK.

The amount of CO2 production financed by Britain’s banks and asset managers is nearly double the UK’s annual carbon emissions, according to a new report.

The study, published by environmental campaign groups Greenpeace and WWF, shows the City provided loans and investments for projects and companies that emitted 805m tonnes of CO2 in 2019. That is 1.8 times the UK’s own annual net emissions for the same year, which totalled 455m tonnes when discounting aviation and shipping, sectors that the UK government also does not include in its emissions calculations.

It highlights the financial industry as one of the UK’s largest contributors to the climate crisis, and means that if the City were its own country, it would outrank Germany as the ninth largest emitter of CO2 in the world. Germany was responsible for emitting 776m tonnes of carbon in 2018, according to the latest available data.

WWF and Greenpeace are calling on the government to introduce new regulations that would bring the sector in line with Paris Agreement targets, which aim to limit global temperature increases to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

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The Guardian, 25 May 2021: British banks finance 805m tonnes of CO2 production a year