As the world community seeks to reduce pollution and the use of fossil fuels in search of a more sustainable future, the world’s largest investment banks have provided over $ 700 billion in funding to fossil fuel companies

The financial institution to be in the spotlight is Wall Street’s JPMorgan Chase, which provided $ 75bn to expanding companies in sectors such as fracking and Arctic oil and gas exploration, along with 33 other financial institutions for an estimated total of $ 1.9tn between 2016 and 2018, along with Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo

The allarm was raising by the Guardian from the Rainforest Action Network, an environmental organization based in the United States. Not only American institutions, the Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion also stands out. 

Particular concern for the Arctic region, an area dominated by Gazprom or Rosneft, of the Russian Federation, accused of lack of transparency. The largest American lead financing for ultra-deepwater oil and gas projects that extract fossil fuels from 1,500 meters and below. 

Nevertheless, there are also countertrend data and the support of some banks in the fight against climate change

For example, Barclays, in England, decreased its investments in fossil fuel companies from $ 13.1bn in 2016 to $ 5.2bn in 2018. Several investment banks said they were expanding quickly in renewable industries and had tightened lending policies on financing for Arctic oil and gas, coal and tar sands fossil fuel projects. 

Barclays’ global head of sustainability and citizenship, Elsa Palanza, said: «What can help solve the problem is, firstly, the voluntary mechanisms we are working on, like the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and then the new attention from regulators like the PRA (Prudential Regulation Authority). The new requirements make people working in banks think about climate change as a double-sided coin, to look at the risks within our portfolio, but also thinking about the opportunity side in terms of financing renewable energy. That’s leveraging the best of what a bank would offer». 

The fight for the accompanying decline of polluting industries is still long but of primary importance.
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