Fossil fuel financing by world’s biggest banks revealed by new study

A study on the financing of fossil fuels entitled “If money talks, what is the banking sector saying about climate change?” was published in the journal Climate policy.

The top ten banks are the largest funders of fossil fuel organizations. Although they discuss climate change more generally, they have not taken any definitive steps to reduce their impact on it. A total of $425.92 billion was spent in 2020 alone by banks such as JP Morgan Chase (US), Barclays (UK), Toronto Dominion Bank (Canada) and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group ( Japan) for fossil fuel financing.

If one must “follow the money” to find the culprits of a crime, what does this mean for the vast sums that the financial sector invests in fossil fuels?“, asks the author, associate professor Asa Lofgren, from the economics department in Gothenburg.

The study examines the annual reports covering the period 2015 to 2019 of the ten largest banks in the world and found that the majority of their efforts related to climate change focus on green technologies for their institutions, regardless of how the financing of their clients influences climate change. The largest fossil fuel funder is JP Morgan Chase with $64.93 billion, followed by Citigroup with $52.41 billion.

In the annual reviews we have studied, the climate change efforts of these large companies tend to relate to the direct effect of their work, such as reducing the electricity consumption of their buildings. There is little or no recognition of the indirect, but significant, effect of their customers’ emissions“, continued Lofgren.

You can read more of the study here.

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