Financing for extreme fossil fuels like tar sands swelled in 2017 under Trump, according to a new report. Banking on Climate Change 2018 tracks 36 of the largest banks in the world to discover they poured $115 billion into these polluting projects, up 11 percent from 2016, according to the Rainforest Action Network (RAN).
Coal mining and power, Arctic and ultra-deepwater oil, and liquefied natural gas export are among the extreme fossil fuels covered by the report, endorsed by more than 50 groups — but the tar sands sector leaped ahead of the pack, overtaking coal to become the most heavily backed extreme energy sector. From 2016 to 2017, financing increased by 111 percent, and banks poured almost $47 billion into tar sands.
Organizations including RAN, BankTrack, Oil Change International, Honor The Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, and Sierra Club, graded banks worldwide on their financing, and found JPMorgan Chase was the number one Wall Street funder of these polluting fuels. That institution, along with the Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank, passed what RAN described as coal-heavy Chinese banks to be extreme fossil fuels’ biggest bankers in 2017. According to RAN’s statement, “JPMorgan Chase increased funding to coal mining by a shocking 21 times and quadrupled its financing of tar sands oil.”
Multiple European banks pledged to reduce financing for fossil fuels like shale or oil sands, according to The Independent, but the report revealed banks in North America, especially in Canada, increased funding.
“Every single dollar that these banks provide for the expansion of the fossil fuel industry is a dollar going to increase the climate crisis,” Oil Change International executive director Stephen Kretzmann said in a statement. “The World Bank, which understands the deep threat that climate change poses to poverty alleviation, has gotten the message and is ending its financing of upstream oil and gas projects. Meanwhile, it seems some commercial banks appear intent on going in the opposite direction. It’s time banks like Chase and TD and US Bank took the World Bank’s lead and stop funding fossils. Until they do, these banks will be complicit in our climate catastrophe.”
Find out how your bank stacks up in the Banking on Climate Change 2018 report on RAN’s website.
Via The Independent