Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Reclaim Finance, Sierra Club, Urgewald.

May 2024

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Banks financed fossil fuels by $6.9 trillion dollars since the Paris Agreement; $705 billion provided in 2023 alone; JP Morgan Chase, Mizuho, and Bank of America are worst 3 funders

(As seen in The Guardian, Financial Times, and more ‚Ästlatest media hits linked here)

The 15th annual Banking on Climate Chaos (BOCC) report employs a new, expanded data set that credits each bank making financial contributions to a deal instead of only crediting banks in leading roles. It cuts through greenwash, covering the world’s top 60 banks’ lending and underwriting to over 4,200 fossil fuel companies and the financing of companies causing the degradation of the Amazon and Arctic. Backgrounder of the report’s key findings can be found here.

Since the Paris Agreement in 2016, the world‚Äôs 60 largest private banks financed fossil fuels with USD $6.9¬†trillion. Nearly half ‚Äď $3.3¬†trillion ‚Äď went towards fossil fuel expansion. In 2023, banks financed $705¬†billion in fossil fuel financing with $347¬†billion going to fossil fuel expansion alone.

JP Morgan Chase is the #1 fossil fuel financier in the world, committing $40.8 billion dollars to fossil fuel companies in 2023. They’re also #1 for fossil fuel expansion in 2023, while Mizuho shot up to second place in the report in both fossil fuel financing ($37.0 billion) and financing for the expansion of fossil fuels ($18.8 billion). The worst funder of fossil fuel expansion since the Paris Agreement is Citibank, providing $204 billion since 2016.

Recently, some banks increased their exposure to climate risk by rolling back their already weak policies. Bank of America, which ranks third on the 2023 list of worst fossil fuel funders, is a glaring example: they dropped their exclusions on Arctic drilling, thermal coal, and coal-fired power plants; they have neither energy ratio disclosures nor near-term absolute emission targets, and they abandoned the Equator principles. At the time of the report publication, they are the only bank major exhibiting all of these climate policy failures at once.

In an ongoing effort to continually improve the accuracy and breadth of the report, this year’s report has significantly adjusted the methodology by incorporating more primary sources. These sources track bank participation in corporate finance deals, including bonds, loans, and share issuances. Previous years of the report only credited banks in leading roles; this year each banks’ financial contributions to a deal are exposed. Every bank in the report was contacted to confirm and given an opportunity to review the deals attributed to them. A backgrounder of the methodology is here.

The report shows high bank financing for the most climate-damaging fossil fuel practices. In 2023, the worst funders of tar sands extraction are CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Mizuho; while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) committed $512 million to companies doing ultra deepwater offshore drilling; JP Morgan Chase financed fracking with $6 billion, and CITIC backed coal mining with $7.6 billion. The top 60 banks by asset size unabashedly financed the harmful practices to sensitive biomes: UniCredit committed $265 million to companies involved in Arctic drilling and Bank of America committed to companies extracting oil & gas in the Amazon biome to the tune of $162 million.

Banking on Climate Chaos is authored by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, the Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, Sierra Club, and Urgewald. It has been endorsed by 589 organizations in 69 countries.

Fossil Fuel Sector Trends 

(^ indicates financing increased for this sector from 2022 to 2023, | a decrease)

^ Methane Gas (LNG): The top bankers of 130 companies expanding liquefied methane gas (LNG) in 2023 were Mizuho, MUFG, Santander, RBC, and JPMorgan Chase. Overall finance for liquefied methane increased to $120.9 billion in 2023.

^ Coal mining: Of the $42.5 billion in financing that went to 211 coal mining companies in 2023, 81% was provided by banks located in China, led by China CITIC Bank, China Merchant Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and China Everbright Group. Financing for this sector is up slightly compared to 2022.

^ Metallurgical coal: 48 companies active in metallurgical coal mining received commitments of $2.54 billion in financing in 2023. Top banks include CITIC, China Everbright Group, Bank of America, and Ping An Insurance Group. Financing for this sector is up slightly compared to 2022.

| Coal-fired power: Of the financing to the coal power companies listed on the Global Coal Exit List, 65% of financing was provided by banks located in China. In 2023, these companies received $80.4 billion from the banks in this report. Financing for this sector is down slightly compared to 2022.

| Gas-fired power: Banks committed $108 billion in financing to 252 companies expanding gas-fired power in 2023. The top 3 financiers in this sector are Mizuho, ICBC, and MUFG. Financing for this sector is down compared to 2022.

| Expansion: The 60 banks profiled in this report funneled $347 billion in 2023 into 873 companies expanding fossil fuels including Enbridge, Vitol, TC Energy, and Venture Global. In 2022, $385 billion went towards expansion. Financing for these expansion companies is down compared to 2022.

| Tar sands oil: The top 36 tar sands companies received $4.4 billion in financing in 2023, a $4 billion drop from the previous year. Canadian banks provided 49% of those funds. Top funders are CIBC, RBC, Scotiabank, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Mizuho. 

| Fracked oil and gas: Finance for 236 fracking companies totaled $59 billion dollars in 2023. US Banks dominate this sector, with the top funders being JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley. 

| Ultra Deepwater oil and gas: Japanese banks MUFG, Mizuho, and SMBC Group top the list of worst financiers of 66 companies involved in ultra deepwater oil and gas for 2023. Financing totaled $3.7 billion in 2023, down from 2022.

| Arctic oil and gas: Financing for 45 companies involved in Arctic oil and gas dropped from $3.3 billion to $2.4 billion. The worst banks financiers of this sector in 2023 are UniCredit, Citigroup, Intesa Sanpaolo,  Barclays, and Credit Agricole.

| Amazon oil and gas: In this report, Bank Of America leads financing for 24 companies extracting in the Amazon biome at $162 million, $33 million more than the next bank in the ranking, JP Morgan Chase. Financing totaled $632 million in 2023, dropping from $802 million in the year prior.

Sector reporting in BOCC 24 is aligned with the Global Oil & Gas Exit List (GOGEL) and the Global Coal Exit List (GCEL), researched by Urgewald. All companies listed by the GOGEL or GCEL that show bank financing in each sector are reported. All companies identified on the GOGEL or GCEL as expansion companies are reported in the expansion league table. Amazon biome companies were identified by Stand.earth Research Group. Metallurgical coal companies were identified through a collaboration between BankTrack and Reclaim Finance.

Full data sets ‚Äď including fossil fuel finance data, policy scores, and stories from the frontlines ‚Äď are available for download at¬†bankingonclimatechaos.org.

 

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