A new analysis by a coalition of environmental groups has found that four U.S. banks are the world’s largest fossil fuel financiers.
The analysis, led by a group comprising the organizations BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance and the Sierra Club, estimates that JP Morgan Chase provided nearly $ 65 billion in fossil fuel financing last year, the most important of the 35 banks listed in the report.
He also revealed that other major banks included Citi, which provided around $ 52 billion, Bank of America, which provided around $ 48 billion, and Wells Fargo, which provided around $ 45 billion.
Funding estimates were made on the basis of loans and subscriptions made to companies that have fossil fuels as part of their business. The percentage of each loan or underwriting arrangement that factored into a company’s funding amount was based on the percentage of the company’s business that came from fossil fuels.
For example, if a bank provided a loan to a company whose business was 20 percent fossil-fuel based, only 20 percent of the loan would count towards the bank’s total fossil fuel funding.
The report comes at a time when financial institutions that provide money to fossil fuel companies are under increased scrutiny. Some banks have taken steps in recent weeks to reduce their impact, focusing on drilling for fossil fuels in the Arctic.
JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs said they stop giving business loans pursue new fossil fuel drilling in the Arctic. Wells Fargo has also stated that it does not directly fund oil and gas projects in the Arctic.
Asked to comment on the report, Wells Fargo told The Hill in a statement that he believes “climate change is one of the most pressing environmental and social issues of our time, and we are committed to doing our part. accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
The company also highlighted its commitment in 2018 to provide $ 200 billion in financing to sustainable businesses and projects by 2030 and its approximately $ 49 billion loans or investments in sustainable businesses and projects in 2018 and 2019.
“We also support our traditional energy customers in their transition to cleaner fuels and production methods, and we actively engage them on best practices for adaptation around the need to operate in a carbon-constrained world and our expectations for robust management of greenhouse gas emissions. in their operations, ”the company said.
Still, the groups behind Wednesday’s analysis are calling for more action from financial institutions.
Alison Kirsch, senior climate and energy researcher at the Rainforest Action Network, said in a statement that the results show “a deeply disturbing picture of how financial institutions are leading us towards climate catastrophe.”
“The data shows that global banks are not only increasing financing for fossil fuels overall, but also increasing financing for the companies most responsible for the expansion of fossil fuels. “
The report also found that between early 2016 and late 2019, all 35 banks funded fossil fuels with more than $ 2.7 trillion combined.
“It is high time for all banks to withdraw their support for dirty fossil fuels, and our movement will continue to fight for them to do so,” said a statement from Ben Cushing, an activist for the Beyond Dirty Fuels initiative of the United States. Sierra Club.