New report: Banking on Climate Change.
Rainforest Action Network’s ninth annual fossil fuel finance report card shows how big banks continue to fund the climate crisis
SAN FRANCISCO, March 28, 2018 — A report released today by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Sierra Club, and Honor The Earth, endorsed by over 50 organizations around the world, reveals that in spite of the urgent climate crisis, 2017 was a year of backsliding by private banks. The report, Banking on Climate Change 2018, is the ninth annual report ranking bank policies and practices related to the financing of some of the most carbon-intensive, financially risky, and environmentally destructive fossil fuel sectors. The report also details the negative impacts of these sectors on human rights, Indigenous rights and community health and well-being.
Tracking 36 of the world’s biggest banks, the report finds that the institutions funneled $115 billion into extreme fossil fuels in 2017, an increase of 11% from 2016. The single biggest driver of the increase in financing came from the tar sands sector, where financing grew by 111% from 2016 to 2017. The massive hike in bank support for tar sands to nearly $47 billion, led tar sands to overtake coal power as the most heavily funded extreme energy sector.
With some of the sharpest upticks in financing since 2016, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank, and JPMorgan Chase all passed the coal-heavy Chinese banks to become the biggest bankers of extreme fossil fuels last year. JPMorgan Chase increased funding to coal mining by a shocking 21 times and quadrupled its financing of tar sands oil.
The report finds that while some European banks have realized the risks and put policy restrictions on some of their fossil fuel financing, major players elsewhere have done little to adopt policies that would bring their activities in line with the Paris Agreement.