financial institutions continue to fund the fossil fuel industry. Reclaim Finance, a French climate pressure group, published a report on Tuesday, during the second day of the World Economic Forum, that analyzed the support that the world’s largest fossil fuel developers have received from financial institutions in the “net zero” alliance. 🚨 NEW REPORT: since joining the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero #GFANZ, financial institutions have provided HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS of $ to fossil fuel expansion 💣 It's the finding of a report published today by 13 NGOs including Reclaim Finance.#GFANZFuelsFire #wef23 pic.twitter.com/iYWzgEPEeI — Reclaim Finance (@ReclaimFinance) January 17, 2023 Executive Director and founder of Reclaim Finance Lucie Pinson decried that “the science is very clear,” adding: We need to stop developing new coal, oil and gas projects as soon as possible if we want to meet our climate goals and avoid a worst-case scenario. Yet, it is business as usual for most banks and investors who continue to support fossil fuel developers without any restrictions, despite their high-profile commitments to carbon neutrality.
Their greenwashing is all the more damaging as it casts doubt on the sincerity of all net zero commitments and undermines the efforts of those who are truly acting for the climate.
The report claimed that Citigroup, the most international of America’s megabanks and founding member of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, and BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, contributed more support to the expansion of the fossil-fuel industry than any other banking and investment company within the alliance.
The analysis showed that Citigroup had “approved 136 transactions that directly provided and facilitated US$30 billion in capital to fossil fuel developers,” and BlackRock “has holdings of US$191 billion in 173 different fossil fuel developers, with 89% by value in oil and gas.” The logo for Citigroup appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) As summarized by Reclaim Finance, the analysis found: Reclaim Finance Senior Analyst Paddy McCully added to Pinson’s comments by adding that the “GFANZ members are acting as climate arsonists,” indicating that it is because the members are “continuing to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into fossil fuel developers.” BlackRock (GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File Andrew Burton) Adele Shraiman from Sierra Club said: Despite their high-profile commitments to net zero, US banks like Citibank and investors like BlackRock are continuing to support the development of oil, gas, and even coal through their investments and loans.
The US financial sector cannot be taken seriously on climate change until it stops investing in new fossil fuel projects. We need an urgent transition to a green economy and the financial sector must help deliver that. Make My Money Matter CEO Tony Burdon, who endorsed the report, said: We know that financing for fossil fuel expansion is bad for the planet, contradicts any serious net zero commitment, and goes against the wishes of millions of savers who want their money tackling the climate crisis, not fueling the fire. Yet staggeringly this report shows that our banks and our pension funds – underpinned by our money – continue to provide billions in finance to companies involved in such activity. This must change. Any financial institution who wants to be taken seriously on climate change must listen to the science, respond to their customers, and end their dangerous relationship with fossil fuel expansion. Rainforest Action Network Climate and Energy Director Aditi Sen also claimed that “the science is clear” and that the “financing of new oil, gas, and coal is incompatible with net zero.” He added: By continuing to finance new fossil fuel projects, banks and asset managers are complicit in driving climate chaos.
The US’s top banks who are the world’s biggest financiers of fossil fuels need to reconcile their actions with their rhetoric on climate by moving finance away from fossil fuel expansion towards a just energy transition.” Urgewald Finance Campaigner Regine Richter also stated: Despite their high profile commitments to net zero, German banks and investors, including Deutsche Bank and DWS, are continuing to support the development of oil, gas and even coal through their investments and loans.
The German finance sector cannot be taken seriously on climate change until it stops investing in new fossil fuel projects. We need an urgent transition to a green economy and the finance sector must help deliver that.” Some of the other groups that have made similar comments to Reclaim Finance about the report are Eri Watanabe, a Senior Finance Campaigner of 350.org Japan; Maaike Beenes, a Climate Lead at BankTrack; Guillaume Durin, a campaigner at BreakFree Switzerland; Guillaume Durin, a campaigner at BreakFree Switzerland; and Daniela Finamore, a Finance & Climate Campaigner from ReCommon. Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.
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