A multitude of banks have pledged to help fight climate change, but new research has highlighted many climate-related conflicts of interest that many bank executives have, which cast a shadow over their promises.
A study conducted by climate influence analysts for the DeSmog blog found that 65% of bank managers have ties to what they termed a climate conflict organizations. Links range from working with oil and gas companies, to funding lobby groups against fossil fuel pollution reduction, to consulting roles in mining and manufacturing companies.
“The fossil fuel industry has a well-established reputation for pleasing itself to thought leaders and policy makers in society,” said Geoffrey Supran, research associate in the Department of History of Science at Harvard University. , in Desmog.
“Having your fingers in all the pies allows the fossil fuel industry to quietly put its thumb on the institutional decision-making ladder, helping to delay action and protect the status quo,” he said. he declares.
In the United States, 17% of bank managers have ties to think tanks and lobbying groups “who campaigned to weaken climate change measures. For example, six directors of JP Morgan had such ties, and the company has spent $ 317 billion funding of fossil fuels since the signing of the Paris Agreement.
A specific group of banks have recently come to the forefront to offer billions of dollars in loans to finance the renovation and addition of Line 3, an oil sands pipeline, in Minnesota. The pipeline is estimated produce carbon emissions equal to those of 50 coal-fired power plants.
Of the four American banks that finance it in the form of loans – JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citigroup – all four have recently published commitments for a net zero climate.
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