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WASHINGTON – The 2020 report Banking on Climate Change released today demonstrates that banks are fueling catastrophic warming of the globe. 

Danielle Fugere, President of As You Sow, said:

“Despite the global need to decrease climate change emissions — or face devastating and catastrophic climate impacts — banks appear callously disengaged. JPMorgan Chase remains in first place for funding dangerous fossil fuel projects. Inexplicably, Citibank, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley have increased their funding of fossil fuels, a dangerous change of direction at a time when progress, not backsliding, is critically necessary.

“Despite banks’ various statements and reports about acting on climate change, the numbers tell a different story. No amount of clean energy funding or environmental risk policies can offset the growth in funding of fossil fuel projects that contribute to catastrophic climate change.

“Shareholders, whose portfolios are already being impacted by climate change, are greatly disappointed by these results. We cannot hope to change direction on climate change if funding for fossil fuels does not begin to decrease immediately and substantially. To foster this change, shareholders are asking banks to immediately begin measuring and disclosing their financed emissions and, most importantly, adopt Paris-aligned reduction goals for their fossil fuel funding — sending the message that their client companies must also change direction.”

Lila Holzman, Energy Program Manager of As You Sow, said:

“This report highlights the urgency with which banks need to step up and drastically change course. In recent months, we have seen announcements and commitments that signal first steps toward taking responsibility. Methodologies such as the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) and Science-Based Targets (SBT) are being developed to provide more transparency on the full emissions footprints of bank portfolios and how those do, or do not, align with the progress we need to achieve Paris goals.

“However, we cannot afford to wait years for banks to begin disclosing such carbon accounting measurements. This report highlights that banks must do more and more quickly to reduce their share of emissions.”

WEBINAR: Shareholder Bank Engagement: Getting Banks Aligned with Paris

Climate Safe Lending Network is hosting a webinar tomorrow, March 19, at 12:30 p.m. EDT to discuss the global context for banking and climate risk and the state of shareholder engagement with banks regarding the climate risk posed by their lending. Click here to register.

For more information on As You Sow’s work on climate change, click here.