The Punch

Biggest banks defy Paris deal, oil projects gulp $3.8tn

- Dayo Adenubi

IN the five years since the Paris climate agreement was signed, the world’s largest banks have consistent­ly funded fossil fuel projects to the tune of $3.8tn, a report has shown.

Banking on Climate Chaos 2021 revealed that JP Morgan Chase was the highest financier of hydrocarbo­n projects between 2016 and 2020 at $316.74bn, followed by Citibank, Wells Fargo and Bank of America with $237.48bn, $223.35bn and $198.45bn respective­ly.

The top 12 referred to as the ‘Dirty Dozen’ also included the Royal Bank of Canada and the United Kingdom’s Barclays Bank.

The report analysed the fossil fuel financing of the world’s 60 largest commercial and investment banks, aggregatin­g their leading roles in lending and underwriti­ng of debt and equity issuance.

RBC, the largest financier in Canada, funded to the tune of $160.13bn, as Barclays led european funded projects with $144.98bn, while the largest in Japan and China, namely Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and the Bank of China spent $147.74bn and $101.20bn respective­ly.

The report said, “Five years have passed since the Paris Agreement was adopted — when a line in the sand was drawn that should have indicated a real beginning to serious, concerted action on climate. Thus, it is shocking that this report finds that fossil fuel financing from the world’s 60 largest commercial and investment banks was higher in 2020 than it was in 2016.

“It is particular­ly disturbing that big banks funnelled more money into fossil fuels last year than in the year of the Paris Agreement’s infancy, given that 2020 was such a calamitous year for the fossil fuel industry.

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