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The COVID-19 crisis poses a threat to people's health, their jobs and their lives, and like all crises, exacerbates already existing inequalities. Trillions in public finance will be needed to get through the current pandemic. This briefing outlines why continuing to rely on fossil fuels, in particular oil and gas, is not compatible with long-term recovery. It does not make sense to use the COVID-19 stimulus packages to try to revive a sunsetting industry which will not deliver on economic recovery, only to shut it down a few years later to meet climate goals.

A new report, Banking on Climate Change 2020, reveals that 35 private-sector banks across Canada, China, Europe, Japan, and the U.S. have financed fossil fuels with USD $2.7 trillion since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016-2019), with financing on the rise each year.

The report finds that fossil fuel financing continues to be dominated by the big U.S. banks – JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America – together, these four banks account for a staggering 30% of all fossil fuel financing from the 35 major global banks since the Paris Agreement was adopted.

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