Authors of 80-page “Banking on Climate” report say that since 2015, Big Banks have financed $3.8 trillion worth of destructive projects, including coal-fueled power plants in Indonesia and the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
A detailed new report released Wednesday by a coalition of environmental groups shows that the 60 largest banks in the world have poured more than $3.8 trillion into the fossil fuel industry since the Paris climate accord was adopted in 2015, providing key financing for destructive projects ranging from coal-fueled power plants in Indonesia to Enbridge’s Line 3 tar sands pipeline.
“Many of the world’s largest banks, including all six major U.S. banks, have made splashy commitments in recent months to zero-out the climate impact of their financing over the next 30 years. But what matters most is what they’re doing now, and the numbers don’t lie,” Ben Cushing, financial advocacy campaign manager with the Sierra Club, said in a statement.
The 80-page “Banking on Climate” report shows that JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo have provided more money for the fossil fuel industry than any other banks in the world at a time when scientists are warning that fossil fuel extraction and use must be rapidly curtailed in order to avert environmental catastrophe.
Between 2016 and 2020, the new report notes, Chase’s lending and underwriting activities have pumped nearly $317 billion into fossil fuels — funding that casts serious doubt on the massive bank’s promise last October to align its financing commitments with the Paris Agreement’s climate targets.
“We must understand that by bankrolling the expansion of oil and gas, the top banks of the world have blood on their hands and no amount of greenwashing, carbon markets, unproven techno-fixes or net-zero commitments can absolve their crimes against humanity and Mother Earth,” said Tom Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN).
“Indigenous lands globally are being plundered, our inherent rights are being violated, and the value of our lives has been diminished to nothing in the face of fossil fuel expansion,” Goldtooth added. “For the sacredness and the territorial integrity of Mother Earth, these banks must be held accountable for covering the cost of her destruction.”
In 2020 alone,