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Executive summary: Banking on Climate Change

Author: Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Sierra Club, Oil Change Intl., Indigenous Environmental Network, Honor the Earth, Published on: 12 June 2019

For the first time, this report adds up lending and underwriting from 33 global banks to the fossil fuel industry as a whole. The findings are stark: these Canadian, Chinese, European, Japanese, and U.S. banks have financed fossil fuels with $1.9 trillion since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016–2018), with financing on the rise each year. This report finds that fossil fuel financing is dominated by the big U.S. banks, with JPMorgan Chase as the world’s top funder of fossil fuels by a wide margin. In other regions, the top bankers of fossil fuels are Royal Bank of Canada in Canada, Barclays in Europe, MUFG in Japan, and Bank of China in China. This report also puts increased scrutiny on the banks’ support for 100 top companies that are expanding fossil fuels, given that there is no room for new fossil fuels in the world’s carbon budget. And yet banks supported these companies with $600 billion in the last three years. JPMorgan Chase is again on top, by an even wider margin, and North American banks emerge as the biggest bankers of expansion as well.

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