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As ‘Climate Week NYC' kicks off today, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) questions the climate integrity of three major event sponsors. RAN research shows that these sponsors, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of the West (BNP Paribas) are helping drive the climate crisis by pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into extreme fossil fuels.
Extreme fossil fuels are the most carbon intensive, financially risky, and environmentally destructive subsectors of the fossil fuel industry and include coal power, coal mining, liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals, and extreme oil (tar sands, Arctic oil, and ultra-deepwater drilling). Rainforest Action Network's 2016 report, Shorting the Climate, reveals that between 2013 and 2015, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and BNP Paribas (parent company of Bank of the West) banks put $9.89 billion into coal mining companies, $30.7 billion into the largest coal power producers, $74.91 billion into companies building LNG export terminals in North America, and $77.3 billion into companies exposed to extreme oil.
Amanda Starbuck, RAN Climate and Energy Program Director, said:
"To meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and BNP Paribas must stop funding extreme fossil fuels, which are simply incompatible with a climate-stable world. Given their current investments in climate-wrecking activities, their sponsorship of ‘Climate Week NYC' amounts to little more than greenwashing. If these banks aspire to be climate leaders, they must accelerate their exit from coal, and commit to getting out of extreme oil and fracked-gas terminals as well."
The Shorting the Climate report, released this past June, also showed that leading financial institutions' business-as-usual investment in fossil fuels stands in direct contradiction to the global consensus to limit global warming. Between 2013 and 2015, 25 major global banks sank $42 billion in companies active in coal mining; $154 billion for the 20 largest coal-fired power producers; $306 billion for companies that drill extreme oil; and $282 billion for companies building LNG export infrastructure.
Among the 25 major global banks analyzed in Shorting the Climate, JPMorgan Chase was the #1 investor in two extreme fossil fuel subsectors: LNG export terminals and extreme oil.
The report does reflect bank movement on coal mining, where nine of the biggest U.S. and European banks committed to reduce funding for the coal mining sector since 2015. Based on their ability to quickly switch their stance on coal over the last year alone, banks are capable of making the critical choice to cut out extreme fossil fuel investments. Not only can they do it, but it is a critical step to follow through on promises made in Paris to stabilize the climate.
For more background, download the report, Shorting the Climate: http://www.ran.org/shortingtheclimate