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Report reveals world's biggest banks have provided nearly $7 trillion in funding for oil and gas industry since 2016: '[They] continue to light the flame of the climate crisis'

"It must come to an end."

"It must come to an end."

Photo Credit: iStock

A report showed that more than nine years after the Paris Agreement, banks gave $6.9 trillion to the coal, oil, and gas industry.

What's happening?

The 15th Banking on Climate Chaos review reported the 60 largest banks in the world funded 4,200 dirty energy corporations over the last eight years, "driving climate chaos and causing deadly local community impacts."

The institutions contributed the money through underwriting and lending, though the report was not detailed enough to separate the financing of dirty energy projects from cleaner and more sustainable ones, the Guardian reported. Of the nearly $7 trillion, $3.3 trillion went to the expansion of the industry.

In 2023, $347 billion of $705 billion in support was allocated to expansion. U.S. banks accounted for 30% of that total, with JP Morgan Chase ($40.9 billion) topping the list. Japan's Mizuho ($37B) ranked second, while Bank of America ($33.7B) was third.

England's Barclays ($24.2B), Spain's Santander ($14.5B), and Germany's Deutsche Bank ($13.4B) were the biggest European contributors last year.

Why is this important?

The banks are greenwashing.

Each one named above has signed on to the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, whose goal is to cut planet-warming gas pollution by 2050 and help them establish other objectives that will have the most impact by 2030. All but two — JP Morgan Chase and Mizuho — were founding signatories.

The report noted Indigenous, Black, and Brown people as well as low-wage workers, women, fishers, and farmers suffer the most from rising global temperatures. Health impacts include heat-related illnesses, respiratory problems, and increased disease incidence.

"Financiers and investors of fossil fuels continue to light the flame of the climate crisis," Tom BK Goldtooth, executive director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, a co-author of the study, told the Guardian. "Paired with generations of colonialism, the fossil fuel industry and banking institutions' investment in false solutions create unlivable conditions for all living relatives and humanity on Mother Earth."

"The fossil fuel industry targets our lands and territories as sacrifice zones to continue their extraction," Goldtooth continued. "Capitalism and its extraction-based economy will only perpetuate more harm and destruction against our Mother Earth and it must come to an end."

What's being done about greenwashing?

Reports such as this one can help shed light on duplicitousness.

The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, is a legally binding treaty of 196 nations to try to limit the warming of Earth to less than two degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures. Even 1.5 C (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of heating will have devastating impacts, with more severe and more frequent rainfall, heatwaves, and drought, but human-caused gas pollution must peak by 2025 and be cut by 43% by 2030 to meet that goal.

You can help by using a bank that doesn't support the coal, oil, and gas industry and holding companies accountable. Another step to take: Vote for pro-environment political candidates.

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