UK banks’ support for coal industry has risen since 2015 Paris climate pact

(The Guardian, 4 May 2021) Lenders including Barclays and HSBC provided services and loans worth £21.9bn in 2019.

British banks’ financial support for companies involved in the coal industry has risen since the 2015 Paris agreement, despite their pledges to wind down financing for a sector seen as a significant obstacle to tackling global heating.

UK lenders provided loans and underwriting services worth $30.3bn (£21.9bn) to companies that sold or burned coal, or provided coal industry services, during 2019, the latest year for which complete data is available, according to research by the campaign groups Reclaim Finance and Urgewald. That represented a significant increase compared with $21.5bn in financing provided in 2016.

Barclays was by far the biggest UK provider of finance to companies in the coal industry, followed by HSBC and Standard Chartered, the research found.

Burning coal produces more carbon dioxide emissions than other fossil fuels, including oil and natural gas, and phasing it out rapidly is widely seen as a key part of ending the climate crisis.

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The Guardian, 4 May 2021: UK banks’ support for coal industry has risen since 2015 Paris climate pact