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Banks fuel climate crisis to the tune of £1.9 trillion

A new report released this week reveals the true extent to which banks are fuelling the climate crisis.
12 highlights from 2022

A new report released this week reveals the true extent to which banks are fuelling the climate crisis. We must demand greater action from our public economic institutions to divert this private funding to better protect people and the planet.  

The focus on the link between our financial system and the climate crisis is growing ever stronger as a new report published this week by portfolio.earth reveals. Bankrolling Extinction, provides new evidence exposing the world’s largest investment banks have invested more than £1.9 trillion in activity linked to the destruction of ecosystems and wildlife in 2019 alone. This is on top of the £158 billion in financing for fossil fuels Barclays and HSBC have provided since the Paris Agreement was signed. 

Sir Robert Watson, former chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), did not hold back on the report’s findings. Saying; “Bank by bank, the report authors found a cavalier ignorance of – or indifference to – the implications, with the vast majority unaware of their biodiversity impacts, or associated balance sheet risks…In short, this report is a frightening statement of the status quo.”

The financial sector is a key player in the destruction of our natural world. And as every week brings new proof of the impact of the climate crisis, it’s time to demand greater action from the Treasury and the Bank of England to regulate private banks to divert their funds away from climate destructive projects. The problem is that in the Bank’s effort to have a neutral impact on the market, it’s actually favouring the status quo of a high-carbon economy, as our Executive Director, Fran Boait, made clear in a recent Bloomberg podcast (from 06:40).

The people in charge agree with us. Just last week the Bank’s governor Andrew Bailey publicly declaredThere is no question demand for ‘climate change consistent’ investment is rising and we have got to enable that to happen…it is one of my most important priorities.” But we need more than words, we need action to cut off this money pipeline for good. That’s what we, alongside SumofUs, 350.org and almost 48,000 members of the public so far, are calling for – join us by adding your name to the petition today. 

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