After the Paris Agreement in 2015, British banks have increased fiscal support for coal-industry companies despite pledges to stop financing a sector that is considered a major obstacle to tackling the global heating problem.
A study by campaign group Reclaim Finance found that UK lenders have loans and acquisitions worth $30.3 billion (21.9 billion) to companies that sold or burned coal or provided coal industry services in 2019, when full data is available in 2019. Provided the service. And Urgewald. This represents a significant increase over the $21.5 billion offered in 2016.
Studies show that Barclays was the UK’s largest financial supplier to coal industry companies, followed by HSBC and Standard Chartered.
Burning coal emits more carbon dioxide than other fossil fuels, including oil and natural gas, and its rapid phase-out is widely regarded as a key part of ending the climate crisis.
However, activists have criticized banks and other financial firms, such as insurance companies and asset managers, that could continue to profit from coal for years through a phased out plan.
The UK is the third largest coal industry corporate lender in the world after the US and Japan. The findings come as the UK prepares to host the UN Cop26 climate talks in November. Under the Paris Climate Agreement, 189 countries have agreed to limit earth heating to below the scientifically recommended safety limit of 2C.
Lucie Pinson, Managing Director of Reclaim Finances, said: The City of London doesn’t lift its fingers to end deadly coal poisoning, even if that means destroying Britain’s reputation for climate. On the international arena, the British government has tried to lead the global exit from coal, but the financial sector has clearly not won a note.
Barclays provided $17.5 billion worth of loans and acquisitions in 2019 (buying and resale of stocks for debt or financing) for companies on the Global Coal Exit List, a database of companies with high coal-related revenues. This included finances from FTSE 100 mining company Glencore and Finnish and US energy companies Fortum and Duke Energy, the report says.
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HSBC provided $6.5 billion in funding to companies with coal stakes in 2019. Previously, it provided funding to companies including PLN in Indonesia and Kepco in Korea. Standard Chartered provided $4.6 billion worth of services in 2019 and funded Indias Adani, Power Finance Corp, and Posco in South Korea.
Between January and October 2020, these three banks provided an additional $19.2 billion in coal funding for the same amount as the whole of 2016.
Data comes as investors increasingly pressure banks to improve their records on climate issues. On Wednesday, Barclays will face a second consecutive shareholder climate vote in a resolution calling for a phased out of service to coal, oil and gas companies.
Market Forces, the environmental group that organized the shareholder resolution, argues that the bank has yet to prove that cooperation with polluting companies is in line with the Paris climate targets.
Barclays argued last year that by adopting climate policy, it could reach its net zero emission target without universally phasing out fossil fuel customers and instead helping to transition to a green business model.
A group of 16 influential investment firms including Amundi, Man Group, and the government-funded pension plan Nest last week urged Barclays chief executive Jes Staley to step up its policy. However, some investors are likely to give Barclays more time to fulfill its existing commitments before applying any additional pressure.
Barclays said: The board continues to believe that Barclays can make the biggest difference by supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy, rather than simply phasing out support for some of its most engaged clients.
The bank said most of the coal financing included in the study came before work began in line with the March 2020 Paris Agreement. It will gradually limit financing for companies that earn significant coal revenues.
Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered said they did not directly fund the new coal project, but they did not consider financing for large companies with more diverse businesses.
HSBC said it will announce plans to phase out financing for coal-fired power projects or thermal coal mines in wealthy countries by 2030 by the end of the year. An HSBC spokesman said the bank will gradually help customers decarburize, but it will also aim. Maintains economic stability.
A spokesman for Standard Chartered said the company has made great progress in our coal policy over the past few years and will continue to review its position.
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