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The 60 largest banks in the world poured as much as $742 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2021 alone, a new report by environmental groups showed this week.
Since the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015, the world’s largest commercial and investment banks have financed fossil fuels with a cumulative $4.6 trillion, according to the annual Banking on Climate Chaos report from Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Reclaim Finance, Sierra Club, and Urgewald.
Banks have come under increased pressure and scrutiny over the past years to stop funding fossil fuels.
JPMorgan Chase “remains the world’s worst funder of climate chaos, with JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Mizuho, MUFG, and all 5 Canadian banks among those that increased their fossil financing from 2020 to 2021,” the authors of the report said.
Overall, fossil fuel financing remained dominated by four U.S. banks, as JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America together accounted for one-quarter of all fossil fuel financing over the last six years.
Fracking received $62.1 billion in financing last year, and was dominated by North American banks with Wells Fargo at the top, funding producers like Diamondback Energy and pipeline companies like Kinder Morgan.
Coal mining financing was led by Chinese banks, the report said, with China Merchants Bank and Ping An Group leading financing for the sector in 2021.
In coal financing alone, between January 2019 and November of last year, commercial banks globally funneled a jaw-dropping $1.5 trillion into the coal industry, a previous report by environmental organizations found earlier this year.
This week’s ‘Banking on Climate Chaos’ report showed that Citi and JPMorgan Chase provided the most financing for offshore oil and gas in 2021. In total, big banks channeled $52.9 billion into offshore oil and gas financing last year, the report noted.
“With Wall Street banks leading the charge, these financial institutions are directly complicit in undermining a climate stable future for us all and must immediately end their support of any further fossil fuel infrastructure expansion,” Alison Kirsch, Research and Policy Manager at Rainforest Action Network, said, commenting on the report.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com