Big banking is saying little on how they will combat climate change through their financing, shows a new study which finds minimal, clear commitments to aid financing away from fossil fuels.
The top 10 banks – ranked as the largest funders of fossil fuel organizations – are talking more about climate change in general. However, in an analysis of annual reports, these banks were found to be vague when it comes to initiatives to counter it.
In 2020 alone, $425.92 billion was spent financing fossil fuels by this group – which includes banks from the US, such as JP Morgan Chase; the UK, Barclays; Canada, Toronto Dominion Bank; and Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group…
“If one should ‘follow the money’ to find the culprits of a crime, what does that say for the significant amounts of money that the financial industry puts into fossil fuels,” questions author Associate Professor Åsa Löfgren, from Gothenburg’s Department of Economics.
“In the annual reviews that we studied, the climate change-related efforts of these huge businesses tend to relate to the direct effect of their work, such as reducing their buildings’ use of electricity. There is little or no recognition of the indirect, but significant, effect of their clients’ emissions.
“This absence of commitments may reflect an absence of critical reflection on their responsibility for financing climate change.”
With beautiful graphics and skilled writers, these masters of global money produce models of how to misdirect the public eye. A few quasi-meaningful quotes that beg the question, “Are we doing anything that results in truly productive change?” Something to be quoted in press conferences. Ignoring opportunities to take funding away from polluting profiteers. Ignoring opportunities to bankroll progressive startups, even those few firms prepared to attempt transformation.