Global banks keep up pace with $742bn in fossil fuel finance despite climate pledges

Global banks provided $742bn in financing to coal, oil and gas companies last year, despite the fanfare of climate pledges by lenders that signed up to former Bank of England governor Mark Carney’s industry alliance, according to the latest comprehensive analysis by an activist group.

Fossil fuel financing remained dominated by the same four US banks, led by JPMorgan Chase, and followed by Wells Fargo, Citi and Bank of America, according to the annual report produced by a coalition of campaign groups organised by the Rainforest Action Network.

All four banks are members of the so-called Net-Zero Banking Alliance that is part of Carney’s Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero umbrella group. The group made the claim at the UN climate summit in Glasgow in November that $130tn of private sector assets was committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Overall, the world’s 60 largest lenders provided only slightly less financing for fossil fuels in 2021 than the $750bn recorded in 2020, the RAN report found. The banks have provided a total of $4.6tn since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016, peaking in 2019 at $830bn, it said.

The energy crisis that has been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven expectations that the demand…

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