UK banks pouring billions into fossil fuels and deforestation, despite green pledges
26th September 2019 | Recycling
UK banks have allocated almost £150bn of funding for fossil fuel projects since the start of 2016 and continue to collectively hold 146 investment pots in firms driving significant levels of rainforest deforestation. That is according to two damning new reports, out this week. The first report, from NGO BankTrack and commissioned by Triodos Bank UK, tracks investments made in fossil fuel projects since the Paris Agreement was ratified in late 2015.
UK banks are ranked as some of the world’s worst offenders. The report states that banks invested £150bn in fossil fuel-related projects, including £45bn on expanding existing oil and gas sites and £13bn on new fracking projects, between January 2016 and July 2019. Drawing on analysis of text published on 800 web pages hosted by UK banks, the report adds that most of these banks are “leaving people in the dark about the fat that their own money could be contributing to[fossil fuels]”, given that information regarding these investments is not prominently displayed, while claims regarding sustainability pledges are.
The second report, entitled “Money to Burn” and developed by BankTrack and Global Witness, analyses investments made in large agri-food businesses linked to rainforest destruction between 2013 and 2019. The report stated that UK banks currently hold 146 investments in major agri-food firms found to have been compliant in setting rainforest fires, and have given such companies 6,380 loans since January 2013. The only nation whose banks made more investments and loans to these soy, beef, palm oil and rubber companies over the six-year period analysed was Brazil (3,339 investments and 5,372 credit packages).
In order to combat these trends, the reports urge banks to align their portfolios and practices with the Paris Agreement, and, in order to ensure that the low-carbon transition mandated by the Agreement is “just”, the UK’s Sustainable Development Goas (SDGs).
More information available on the website below