European banks are providing billions of dollars in funding to expand oil and gas production despite the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) warnings on global warming, according to a report released by non-profit ShareAction on Monday.
Led by HSBC, Barclays and BNP Paribas, European banks are continuing to pump money into companies expanding oil and gas production, in clear contravention of climate science, ShareAction said.
The IEA warned last year of the necessity to avoid investments in new oil and gas fields if the world is to have a 50% chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. However, 25 of the largest European banks have provided over $400 billion in finance to 50 companies with large oil and gas expansion plans, including ExxonMobil, Saudi Aramco, Shell and BP since 2016.
ShareAction claims that HSBC tops the table with $59 billion, followed by Barclays with $48 billion and BNP Paribas with $46 billion.
The report found that except for DZ Bank, 24 of the banks in ShareAction’s study are members of the UN-convened Net Zero Banking Alliance, the coalition that brings together banks worldwide representing over 40% of global banking assets, which are committed to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net zero emissions by 2050.
Just since joining the alliance last year, these 24 banks have provided $33 billion to oil and gas expanders, $19 billion of which came from four of the founding members – HSBC, Barclays, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank.
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