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NGOs highlight environmental and human rights concerns to banks over Saudi Aramco IPO

A coalition of environmental NGOs has written to seven international banks to express their alarm over the banks' decision to underwrite the planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Saudi Aramco. The state-owned oil giant is the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide; a recent Guardian investigation revealed that Saudi Aramco has produced about 4.4% of the world's total carbon dioxide and methane emissions since 1965.

The letter also outlines the NGOs concerns that the banks will be facilitating the profiteering of a regime with a history of egregious human rights abuses. It cites the examples of Saudi Arabia's role in airstrikes on civilians in Yemen and in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

The Guardian approached the banks for comment on the letter. JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the letter, whilst the other banks did not respond to requests for comment.

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Article
17 October 2019

Banks warned over Saudi Aramco by environmental groups

Author: Jillian Ambrose, The Guardian (UK)

Green groups have warned that banks linked to Saudi Aramco’s $2tn (£1.6tn) market float are undermining global efforts to tackle the climate crisis by supporting the listing of the world’s biggest oil producer...

In a letter to bank chief executives... 10 environmental groups warned that the listing would hinder the battle against greenhouse gas emissions and human rights abuses...

The letter also raised concern over the banks’ eagerness to help raise billions of dollars for Saudi Arabia, “given the horrendous human rights record of the Saudi regime”.

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Item
17 October 2019

Letter: Environmental groups warn banks against climate and human rights implications of underwriting Saudi Aramco offering

Author: Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Earthworks, Friends of the Earth, Global Witness, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change, Share Action, Sierra Club, 350

to the CEOs of Bank of America, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, and Morgan Stanley,

We are writing to express our alarm at your banks' potentially playing leading roles in underwriting the intended Initial Public Offering (IPO) of part of Saudi Aramco...

This... comes at a time when the UN's climate scientists have shown that to prevent the catastrphic consequences of global temperatures rising beyond 1.5C... global carbon emissions need to peak immediately and start dropping sharply...

Such drastic cuts will not be possible if banks like yours keep increasing the capital they are facilitating for the fossil fuel industry.

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