JP Morgan is no longer the world’s biggest financier of fossil fuels. Last year Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) became the top bank funding oil and gas, a report by environmental groups showed this week.
Fossil fuel financing from the world’s 60 largest banks hit $673 billion in 2022. These banks have funded $5.5 trillion in fossil fuels projects in the seven years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, according to the annual Banking on Climate Chaos report by Rainforest Action Network, Oil Change International, Indigenous Environmental Network, BankTrack, Reclaim Finance, Sierra Club, and Urgewald.
To compare, the previous edition of the report from last year showed that the 60 largest banks in the world poured as much as $742 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2021.
For the first time since 2019, US bank JP Morgan Chase dropped from the top spot of the biggest backer of fossil fuels.
RBC financed fossil fuel projects with $42.1 billion in 2022, including $4.8 billion for oil sands and $7.4 billion for fracking, the report found.
Overall, U.S. banks dominated fossil fuel financing, accounting for 28% of all fossil fuel financing in 2022. JPMorgan Chase remains the world’s biggest funder of fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement, while Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America are still among the top 5 fossil financiers since 2016.
Commenting on the report, co-author April Merleaux, Research and Policy Manager at Rainforest Action Network, said, “Fossil fuel companies are the ones dousing the planet in oil, gas, and coal, but big banks hold the matches. Without financing, fossil fuels won’t burn.”
Under pressure from ESG trends and shareholders, some banks have announced stricter rules on the financing of fossil fuels in recent months.
ING, for example, is further restricting financing to the oil and gas industry, reducing the volume of traded oil and gas it finances and no longer financing midstream infrastructure for new oil and gas fields. Barclays has said it will no longer provide financing to oil sands companies or oil sands projects and tightened conditions for thermal coal lending in an updated policy, which fell short of announcing overall pledges or targets in funding oil and gas.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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