The world’s sixty largest banks have invested $60trn into fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement five years ago.
In addition, fossil fuel financing was found to be higher in 2020 than in 2016.
Even with a pandemic, when fossil fuel financing was reduced by 9%, the world’s sixty largest banks increased their financing in 2020 to the 100 companies most responsible for fossil fuel expansion by over 10%.
This is according to the report, Banking on Climate Chaos 2021, from the Rainforest Action Network.
US banks and fossil fuels
Banks in the US continued to be largest global drivers of emissions in 2020 and JPMorgan Chase stated to be the worst fossil bank.
Between 2016 and 2020, Chase’s lending and underwriting activities provided close to $317bn to fossil fuels, 33% more than second-placed Citi.
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On the other hand, Wells Fargo‘s total fossil financing dropped by 42% in 2020. This put the firm in ninth worst in 2020, the first time in the past five years that Wells Fargo has not been in the top four.
Ginger Cassady, executive director at RAN, said: “The unprecedented COVID-19 dip in global financing for fossil fuels offers the world’s largest banks a stark choice point going forward; they can decide to lock in the downward trajectory of support for the primary industry driving the climate crisis or they can recklessly snap back to business as usual as the economy recovers. US-based banks continue to be the worst financiers of fossil fuels by a wide margin.
“Going into the Glasgow climate summit at the end of the year, the stakes could not be higher. Wall Street must act now to stop financing fossil expansion and commit to fossil zero, so as to truly align its financing practices with keeping our planet from heating up more than 1.5 degrees.”