Citi banking on a fossil gas shipwreck

SAN FRANCISCO (Chochenyo and Karkin Ohlone Lands) –– On the fifth anniversary of Citi’s co-founding of the Poseidon Principles for decarbonizing shipping, new analysis from Stand.earth reveals that Citi has facilitated nearly $741 billion USD for maritime LNG projects and companies in the last five years. The Poseidon Principles are a first-of-its-kind framework for financial institutions, purported to mobilize capital to decarbonize international maritime shipping.

Explore the full analysis here.

“Citi has touted itself as a bank at the helm of climate-responsible maritime finance. Instead, it’s been bunking up with fossil fuel interests and maritime laggards to the tune of billions of dollars for fossil gas vessels, infrastructure, and companies,” said Kendra Ulrich, Transportation Campaign Director for Stand.earth. “Citi must immediately end its support for fossil gas shipping, and put its considerable maritime finance experience in the service of ushering in a climate-safe future for our fragile blue planet.”

International shipping is one of the most polluting industrial sectors on the planet, with greenhouse gas emissions totaling more than that of Germany, the world’s sixth most emitting country.

LNG (liquefied fossil gas) is primarily methane, a greenhouse gas over 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide on a 20-year timeframe. Methane is 28 times more potent of a greenhouse gas on a 100-year timeframe, and the second leading cause of climate change. Studies have shown that the use of LNG as a marine fuel worsens the climate impact of shipping by 70 to 82% or more compared to business as usual.

While the Poseidon Principles do not explicitly address maritime LNG projects, the stated objective of the Principles is to align banks’ ship finance portfolios with climate targets.

Citi has also endorsed multiple other climate finance initiatives that should preclude its participation in financing for maritime LNG projects and companies, including the Climate Bond Initiative which explicitly excludes LNG ship finance.

“Amid a tsunami of nonviolent civil disobedience at Citi’s doors this summer over its fossil fuel funding, we’re rising up and refusing to wait any longer for Citi to live up to its empty climate promises,” said Hannah Saggau, Senior Climate Finance Campaigner with Stand.earth. “Citi is the largest funder of fossil fuel expansion, including LNG expansion, in the world since the Paris Agreement was signed. This analysis is further proof that Citi is a chronic greenwasher that prefers to accumulate endorsements rather than take real action to stop funneling capital to the fossil fuel industry.”

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The methodology for the findings in the report can be seen here.

Press Contact:

Emily Pomilio, Stand.earth, [email protected]

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Citi: A $200bn problem for solving climate change

— Citi employees are confidentially speaking to FossilFreeCiti on Citi’s funding of fossil fuels. Join your colleagues now by emailing [email protected]. — 


New data shows that Citi is the biggest global funder of companies
expanding oil, gas, and coal of any bank in the world. Citi has poured over $200 billion into fossil fuel companies since the Paris Agreement to limit planetary warming was signed in 2015 according to the latest annual report Banking on Climate Chaos by Rainforest Action Network and a coalition of NGOs. 

Did Citi miss the memo that the world doesn’t need new fossil fuel projects? Or that major fossil fuel companies are actively avoiding being part of the transition?

 

Pollution and rights

“We came from so far to tell Citi not to finance Petroperú” – Olivia Bisa, president of the autonomous territorial government of the Chapra Nation in Peru

Citi is behind some of the most egregious recent developments of fossil fuels. Here is just a taster of some:

  • In Indonesia, Citi funds Adaro which is building an aluminium smelter plant in a conservation and migration area for endangered species such as the green turtles, hawksbill turtles and killer whales. 
  • Citi is also turning a blind eye to violations of Indigenous rights – from the US, to the Amazon and Australia. In Peru it backs Petroperú which is involved in hundreds of oil spills and  threats to Indigenous leaders which oppose them. Olivia Bisa, president of the autonomous territorial government of the Chapra Nation in Peru, travelled to New York recently and met Citi to tell the bank its funding was threatening her life and her family’s: “We came from so far to tell Citi not to finance Petroperú, because they are impacting us, not only polluting our territories, but also they are causing fights and that we can have conflicts among us, among Indigenous nations, because Petroperú is using divisive tactics in the communities. Since 2022, where I denounced an oil spill in my territory, I have been criminalized. I’ve been threatened. I have received six lawsuits against me from Petroperú.”

 

Investor ire

Concern over Indigenous rights has seen one in four Citi shareholders support a shareholder resolution by investor nuns for three years. The message from investors is clear: “human rights violations are bad for business”.

 

Foul funder

A look at which companies Citi has been funding paints a stark picture of what this bank really cares about. Citi pumped $15 billion into ExxonMobil, one of the world’s biggest oil producers, which knew about climate change for decades but actively lobbied to stop action on it. Citi also funds Saudi Aramco – receiving over $6 billion since 2016. Because of this funding, Citi was named in a UN complaint last year over human rights abuses linked to climate change.

 

Transition plans

Citi knows it’s got a problem with its clients and its fossil fuel funding. Its own report released recently shows that 71% of its clients do have adequate transition plans. Yet there has been no policy announcement to drop clients which won’t transition away from oil, gas, and coal and no commitment that it will no longer back fossil fuel expansion. 

We have so much evidence that Citi is a dirty bank, the question is does it care enough about its investors, customers, staff and the planet to change direction?

Citi employees are confidentially speaking to FossilFreeCiti on Citi’s funding of fossil fuels.

Join your colleagues now by emailing [email protected].

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Demand Citi Stop Fueling the Climate Crisis

Sponsored by: The Fossil Free Citi Coalition

Add Your Name: Citi must stop fueling the climate crisis

Citi’s support for new fossil fuel projects jeopardizes our communities’ health, human rights, and future generations. As we experience the very real effects of the climate crisis, the cost of inaction is too high.

Together, let’s demand Citi stop funding fossil fuels for the sake of our communities — and our planet.

A major catalyst for the climate crisis is the funding of the fossil fuel industry by big banks. Banks invest billions of dollars into coal, oil, and gas corporations that create dirty energy, instead of massively expanding the renewables we need for safe, healthy communities.

Enter Citibank: a major climate offender. Citi is the second largest fossil fuel funder in the world, pouring $332 billion into the industry since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2016. Citi has provided funding to companies like Exxon, Shell, Chevron, and Enbridge, who are building polluting new tar sands pipelines, oil rigs, and methane gas terminals, despite powerful resistance from frontline communities defending their right to a clean, healthy environment. 

Citi must stop financing new fossil fuel projects and the companies behind dangerous coal, oil, and gas expansion. Citi must also refuse to finance any companies that are violating human rights, especially the rights of impacted Indigenous communities.

Sign our petition to fight for your community’s health and safety by demanding that Citi stop funding fossil fuels.

Add your name using the form on this page or on Action Network.

Add Your Name: Citi must stop fueling the climate crisis

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Pressure on Citi to drop fossil fuel clients as report shows transition plans lacking

March 27, 2024

NEW YORK CITY – Citi is under pressure to drop clients focused on oil, gas, and coal as a new report by the bank shows 71% of these companies do not have sufficient climate plans to transition away from fossil fuels and address their massive emissions.

Only 28% of the oil, gas and coal companies Citi funds have a medium or strong transition plan into a clean energy future. The report categorizes oil and gas production and “energy process industries” as very high risk for not transitioning.

Citi’s report also shows it was responsible for 89.3 million metric tonnes of CO2 through their financing of fossil fuel companies, which is the equivalent of over 21 million cars driven for a year or 23 coal-fired power plants operating for a year.*

Despite the poor transition plans of the oil, gas and coal companies it funds, Citi fails to mention dropping clients, instead stating its will “hold conversations” with them and “continue facilitating solutions to support their transition planning.” Citi has been doubling down on its support for clients that do not have credible transition plans, including Exxon Mobil with Citi acting as lead advisor on the merger with Pioneer last year.

Richard Brooks, Climate Finance director at Stand.earth, called on Citi to explain how it can transition as a bank if the companies it lends to are not transitioning.

“Citi has laid out quite clearly that the vast majority of its clients are laggards and have no intention of transitioning away from oil, gas and coal. Because of this, Citi is responsible for over 23 coal plants worth of pollution due to the dirty energy companies it finances. Citi must take real action by divesting and transitioning its current relationships with these laggards who are failing to meet the needs of our clean energy future.”

Shawna Ambrose, spokesperson for Rainforest Action Network, added:

“Citi has a unique opportunity to lead the transition to a clean energy economy; instead the evidence is clear that Citi persists in bankrolling fossil fuel expansion and lacks credible, time-bound policies to achieve a transition that is aligned with what is needed to limit warming to below 1.5C and avert climate chaos. People from the Amazon to the US Gulf Coast are relying on Citigroup to make real and rapid progress on the targets it has promised – for the health of their children and all of our future generations on this planet.”

Citi is the second biggest funder of fossil fuels in the world, pumping in $322 billion between 2016-2022 according to the annual Banking on Climate Chaos report. The bank recently abandoned a bare minimum set of standards on risks to the environment and local communities where it finances oil, gas, coal, infrastructure and mining projects. These standards, called the Equator Principles, have also been dropped by  JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. Citi is listed as having applied the Equator Principles to its funding of Cheniere’s Corpus Christi LNG expansion project in Texas in 2022, which is opposed by local communities over its health and environmental impacts.

The move is part of a concerning trend among banks headquartered in the US to backpedal on commitments on climate and to vulnerable communities affected by their financing deals. 

Bank of America has removed explicit bans on financing coal and Arctic drilling projects. JPMorgan Chase has introduced an “energy mix” for calculating its financed emissions, which will include renewable energy and make it harder to assess and recently left the voluntary CA100+ initiative. Citi’s chief executive, Jane Fraser, has also signalled a shift in priority.

Other global banks have continued to make policy changes to address climate and community risks. Barclays last month announced an end to funding for new oil and gas projects; HSBC in 2022 said it was ending funding for new fossil fuel projects. Danske Bank announced they would severely limit investments in fossil fuels via their asset management division after last year saying it would stop financing oil and gas projects and companies.

Last week the NYC Comptroller announced he had successfully pressured Citi to disclose information in 2024  on how much low carbon energy it finances in comparison to oil, gas and coal energy. Citi’s current ratio is 0.60:1 meaning for every $1 financing dirty fossil fuels only 60 cents are going into low-carbon energy like renewables. The International Energy Agency and others have stated the current ratio must by 4:1 to half economy wide emissions by 2030. As a result, Citi will no longer face a shareholder vote on the issue at its annual general meeting but the bank has yet to set a target to fix its energy ratio problem. 

 

* According to EPA greenhouse gas equivalents https://www.epa.gov/energy/greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator#results

Press Contact:

Emily Pomilio, Stand.earth

[email protected]

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Citi agrees to climate disclosure after NYC investor pressure

March 20, 2024

This week, the New York City Comptroller’s office withdrew its Citi shareholder resolution given the bank’s commitment to disclose energy supply financing ratios, as reported by the Financial Times.

According to Bloomberg NEF which has pioneered energy ratio data, Citi has one of the worst clean to dirty energy ratios in the world at 0.58:1, meaning for every $1 financing fossil fuels only 58 cents is going into low carbon energy. The International Energy Agency has affirmed that banks’ ratios must be 4:1 by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. 

Through negotiations, Citi has agreed to disclose information on how much low carbon energy it finances in comparison to oil, gas and coal energy, after pressure from the NYC Comptroller and New York pension funds. Citi still faces a resolution on Indigenous rights, which for 2 years, has attracted over 30% of investor support.

Hannah Saggau, a climate finance campaigner with Stand.Earth, said:

“Citi’s move to disclose its energy financing ratios, thanks to pressure from the NYC Comptroller, shows they’re reading the writing on the wall and know their ratio of dirty to clean energy financing is not fit for the times. There are fundamental risks to investing in oil, gas and coal while climate change threatens economic stability for the hard-working members of their pension plans. 

“This should encourage other shareholders to challenge Citi on its environmentally racist support of fossil fuels by rapidly phasing out of oil, gas and coal funding and ramping up its financing of sustainable power. Time for investors to flex and send a message that laggard banks need to change their energy financing approach.”

“We expect that this settlement will give a boost to votes at the four remaining banks where the resolution is going forward, notorious fossil banks RBC, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.”

Press Contact:

Emily Pomilio, Stand.earth

[email protected]

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Big 4 US banks abandon standards to protect environment & communities

March 5, 2024

Four of the biggest banks in the world have left the Equator Principles, which set minimum standards on risks to the environment and local communities in countries where they finance oil, gas, coal, infrastructure and mining projects. 

Citi, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo are listed as having left the group of banks which has signed the principles, which still includes global banks such as Barclays, HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Canada. Citi has boasted in previous reports that it is a “founding signatory” to the Equator Principles and that it has applied them to various projects it has funded to assess and monitor the risk involved. This includes a massive LNG project in Texas, Cheniere’s $8 billion Corpus Christi expansion project, which is opposed by local communities over its health and environmental impacts.

The move is part of a concerning trend among banks headquartered in the US to backpedal on commitments on climate and to vulnerable communities affected by their financing deals. 

Bank of America has removed explicit bans on financing coal and Arctic drilling projects. JPMorgan Chase has introduced an “energy mix” for calculating its financed emissions, which will include renewable energy and make it harder to assess and recently left the voluntary CA100+ initiative. Citi’s chief executive, Jane Fraser, has also signalled a shift in priority.

Ironically, US banks sent large delegations to the recent climate talks at COP 28 in Dubai: Citi sent 26 staff and Bank of America sent 18, including chief executive Brian Moynihan. 

The four US banks are the biggest funders of oil, gas and coal in the world, pumping in $1.4 trillion between 2016-2022. 

Other global banks have continued to make policy changes to address climate and community risks. Barclays last month announced an end to funding for new oil and gas projects; HSBC in 2022 said it was ending funding for new fossil fuel projects. Most recently Danske Bank announced they would severely limit investments in fossil fuels via their asset management division after last year saying it would stop financing oil and gas projects and companies.

Richard Brooks, Climate Finance Director, Stand.earth:

“It is a very troubling move by some of the biggest fossil fuel financing banks in the world to abandon a bare minimum set of standards that banks themselves have set. It is both ethically shocking and financially irresponsible. It is becoming increasingly apparent these banks do not care about anything other than the bottom line.”

Johan Frijns, director, BankTrack:

“The sudden, quiet and coordinated departure of four major US banks from the Equator Principles is an alarming signal that they are not even prepared to adhere to these inadequate global minimum standards. The Equator Principles need fundamental reform, but quitting them in fear of political backlash will further undermine the rights and interests of communities whose rights and environment are so often damaged by the projects banks finance. We demand that such minimum safeguards continue to be respected by the banks now walking away from the initiative.”

Mary Mijares, Fossil Finance Campaigner, Amazon Watch:

“The exit of the largest US banks from the Equator Principles will only further reinforce their disregard for rights and the climate at large. The principles, which serve as a foundational commitment to safeguarding rights and the climate, are crucial. At a time when more commitments are needed from financial institutions, banks must not backslide for the sake of our collective future.”

Adele Shraiman, Fossil-Free Finance campaign senior strategist, Sierra Club:

“This is yet another display of cowardice that shows how Wall Street is bending to pressure from climate denier extremists rather than upholding some of their most basic climate and human rights commitments. While the fossil fuel industry and their political henchmen are pushing financial institutions to not even do the bare minimum, banks should know that they cannot continue to ignore the very real climate risks that their customers, shareholders, and regulators are increasingly alarmed about.”

Aditi Sen, Climate and Energy Director, Rainforest Action Network:

“The equator principles set out the absolute minimum set of standards and safeguards for financial institutions to address environmental and social risks in the projects they finance. The silent retreat from major US banks which are among the biggest financiers of fossil fuels globally from this initiative is deeply concerning. It further undermines the rights of frontline and fenceline communities across the world who bear the brunt of impacts from toxic projects.” 

Press Contact:

Judith Crosbie, The Sunrise Project

+1 929 584 3344
[email protected]

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Bank of America removes bans on coal and Arctic drilling

February 3, 2024

Bank of America has dramatically backpedalled on climate commitments and removed explicit bans on financing coal mines and Arctic drilling.

The move is being slammed by climate groups as an affront to the recent global agreement by governments at COP to transition away from oil, gas and coal and is part of a concerning trend among banks headquartered in the US to weaken their stance on climate.

Bank of America’s updated Environmental and Social Risk Policy removes language from a previous policy that it will “not directly finance” oil exploration and extraction in the Arctic, thermal coal mines or new coal-fired plants. Instead these activities will now go though “enhanced due diligence”.

The Bank of America policy change follows a November announcement by JPMorgan Chase of an “energy mix” for calculating its financed emissions, which will include renewable energy and make it harder to assess. Citi’s chief executive Jane Fraser has also signalled a shift in priority.

US banks sent large delegations to the recent climate talks at COP 28 in Dubai: Citi sent 26 staff and Bank of America sent 18, including chief executive Brian Moynihan.

The top global banks have pumped $5.5 trillion into oil, gas and coal expansion since 2016. Bank of America is the fourth largest funder at $280 billion, and is a major financier of fossil fuel expansion in the Amazon and of the LNG build-out. JP Morgan Chase is the biggest funder at $434 billion and Citi is number two at $333 billion.

Other global banks have made major policy changes in line with climate action: HSBC in 2022 announced it was ending funding for new fossil fuel projects while Danske Bank last year said it would stop financing oil and gas projects and companies.

Hannah Saggau, Stand.Earth

“The ink is barely dry on the global agreement at COP28 to transition away from coal, oil and gas and now Bank of America has decided to significantly weaken their restrictions on financing the most egregious fossil fuel projects: in the pristine Arctic and dirty coal. Bank of America’s backpedalling on its climate commitments proves that its loyalties lie with the fossil fuel industry, not the communities they purport to serve. The bank must explain to investors, shareholders, customers and employees why it has chosen to snub the global consensus on climate action.”

Aditi Sen, Rainforest Action Network

“Wall Street banks are rolling back fossil fuel finance policies against the tide of history at a time of intensifying climate chaos. Bank of America, in addition to being one of the world’s worst financiers of fossil fuels, recently updated their Environmental and Social Risk Policy Framework to open a lane for fossil finance previously (and rightly) ruled out, including around Arctic drilling, new coal-fired power plants and thermal coal mines. JPMorgan Chase, long the single largest financier of fossil fuels and fossil expansion, and the only Wall Street bank to finance the recent Rio Grande LNG project, rolled out an energy mix target that buries their fossil fuel financing from public scrutiny.”

Lucie Pinson, director of Reclaim Finance

“Bank of America’s backtrack may seem inconsequential at first glance, given its limited involvement in directly financing new fossil fuel projects. However, the audacity lies in its blatant endorsement of clients like Glencore and Sasol, corporations that actively contribute to climate chaos and inequalities by persistently developing new coal plants. This move is nothing short of scandalous, as it directly contradicts the global efforts to limit global warming to the 1.5°C target outlined in climate agreements. By embracing entities that undermine environmental sustainability, the bank appears to be in clear opposition to its own net-zero pledge, casting doubt on its commitment as a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). This raises serious concerns about the bank’s priorities and values, signaling a disconcerting willingness to act counter to its stated environmental goals”

Press Contact:

Judith Crosbie, The Sunrise Project

+1 929 584 3344
[email protected]

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Citi involvement in Exxon-Pioneer merger is ‘pure hypocrisy’, say climate groups

Press Contact: Judith Crosbie, [email protected], +1 929 584 3344

Citi is lead financial advisor for Exxon in the $59.5 billion deal which will see Exxon double down on oil production by buying Pioneer Natural Resources, a shale oil production company in the US Permian basin. Exxon is Citi’s biggest fossil fuel client, with the bank pumping in over $15 billion to Exxon since 2016.

At the same time, Citi has verbally committed to net zero by 2050 and even co-founded the global body the Net Zero Banking Alliance. The bank however has faced criticism from investors over a lack of a credible transition plan and the impact of its fossil fuel funding on Indigenous communities. In August it was among 10 banks cited in a United Nations complaint over human rights abuses linked to funding for Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil producer.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Petrie Partners and Bank of America Securities acted as financial advisors to Pioneer in today’s merger.

Roishetta Ozane, Gulf fossil finance coordinator for the Texas Campaign for the Environment:

“Today we see the true side of Citi as a fossil fuel funder not a climate leader. Citi is a bank that likes to talk about helping communities and solving climate change. But this deal will mean even more oil production where my children and I live and even more health problems for families in the Gulf South. Citi has backed this deal and is yet again funding environmentally racist policies,” she said.

Hannah Saggau, Stand.earth Senior Climate Finance Campaigner:

“This is a massive deal risking more oil production and pollution – and Citi is right in the middle of it. Citibank is failing everyone: its share price has tanked for years, its staff are disillusioned through arbitrary layoffs, and it is still under investigation for compliance. Meanwhile, Citi continues to bankroll fossil fuels while publicly touting climate commitments. Actions speak louder than words, and today we got a megaphone message: Citi is doubling down on fossil fuels at the expense of our health and safety.”

Ben Cushing Campaign Director of the Sierra Club’s Fossil-Free Finance campaign:

“It is pure hypocrisy to say you want to reduce emissions from oil and gas and then act as financial adviser to Exxon to grow its oil and gas business. The left hand is doing one thing while the right is doing the opposite. Citi is clearly not taking its climate targets very seriously,” he said.

Shawna Ambrose, Rainforest Action Network Spokesperson:

“This is why it’s important to follow the money instead of greenwashed pledges. Bank of America talks about climate transition, but today it’s revealed they’re in the thick of one of the biggest oil production in years. Bank of America is profiting off of climate chaos, and must be held accountable for torching the planet as much as Exxon.”

Alice Hu of New York Communities for Change:

“Last month protesters shut down Citi’s headquarters in New York because we are tired of greenwashing from this megabank. Today Citi proved they would rather help Exxon keep profiting off fossil fuels rather than stand with communities in New York and elsewhere suffering from the ravages of climate change. Our message to Citi is that we will escalate our fight in defence of our communities and the planet.”

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Press Contact: Judith Crosbie, [email protected], +1 929 584 3344

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Climate groups slam banks over senior PR hirings to deal with bad climate record

11 September, 2023

Climate groups have criticised banks for hiring senior staff to deal with their poor image on climate change – instead of actually dealing with climate change. 

As reported in the Guardian today, Citi, Barclays and Royal Bank of Canada, which are among the biggest funders of the oil, gas and coal sectors, are hiring senior public relations and “engagement” roles while continuing to pump money into new and expanding fossil fuel industries.

The move comes as protesters, angry at financial institutions for bank-rolling the fossil fuel industry, prepare a wave of actions in New York in the coming days as UN Climate Week kicks off, including at Citi, KKR and Blackrock. The 60 biggest banks in the world have pumped $5.5 trillion into the fossil fuel sectors since 2016.

Citi is hiring a Vice President for ESG stakeholder engagement; Barclays is hiring a climate communications director and RBC is hiring a head of climate transition.

Climate groups have called out the banks over greenwashing.

Richard Brooks Climate Finance Director at Stand.Earth said

“Major banks hiring senior staff as spin doctors to green their bad images on climate issues rather than actually tackling their fossil fuel financing is utterly sickening, given the deaths in Hawaii, fires in Canada’s Arctic and extreme heat all over North America. This is tone deaf desperation by Citi, RBC and Barclays. This is part of a trend whereby major banks that fund the oil, gas and coal industries are doubling down on delay and deception, attempting to squash demands of shareholders, customers, and the public alike. Our pressure is only going to escalate, so we would urge them to take real action immediately.”

Joanna Warrington at Fossil Free London said

“In recent years we’ve seen campaigning pressure expand beyond the oil giants like Shell and Equinor, onto banks and the massive funding they provide to companies building new oil and gas projects that would be impossible without it. Barclays is clearly scared. This new PR role is just another way for it to armour itself up. But underneath, the bank is still filled to the brim with oil. The only meaningful climate action Barclays should take is to stop funding fossil fuel expansion, like leaders in Europe, and fund green energy now. No more spin doctors.”

All three banks have battled the public fallout recently over their roles in fuelling the climate crisis.

  • Citi is the second biggest fossil fuel funder in the world since 2016, pumping over $332 billion into the sector. Just two weeks ago Citi was named in a UN human rights complaint over its funding of the world’s biggest oil producer Saudi Aramco. Citi has faced years of backlash by investors over its Indigenous rights record and climate protests. The vice president role Citi is hiring for will be “related to sustainability issues, with a focus on human rights” and will “monitor Citi’s reputation”.
  • In 2022, RBC was the biggest global bank funder of fossil fuels and continues in 2023, to take a greater proportion of the global financing of fossil fuels by banks.. RBC’s new senior position will produce “lasting responses to Climate Activism” and follows pressure at this year’s annual general meeting over its fossil fuel funding. 
  • Barclays, the biggest fossil fuel funder in Europe, has faced pressure over its Wimbledon sponsorship, its connections to the UK’s National Trust and was even forced to deal with the fallout when a British pensioner refused to pay their council tax because of a link to the bank.

Information about each bank’s fossil fuel funding and the league table on banks funding of oil, gas and coal can be found in the Banking on Climate Chaos report.

Press Contact:Judith Crosbie, [email protected], +1 929 584 3344

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The banks fuelling the climate crisis in the Global South

Find out more about ActionAid’s groundbreaking new research into the financial flows fuelling industrial agriculture and fossil fuels – the two industries that are the largest contributors to climate change. These finance flows enable these harmful industries to expand and thrive. Meanwhile, the solutions needed to address the climate crisis remain woefully underfunded.

I’ve seen first hand the devastation extreme weather can inflict on the lives of people who did very little to cause it, and this injustice is what spurs me on as a climate activist. What angers me the most is the lack of action that world leaders and huge polluters are taking to halt this crisis.

Money continues to be pumped into harmful activities that threaten the existence of our planet and its people. This report reveals the trillions in harmful finance flowing to the Global South, fuelling the climate crisis and directly harming vulnerable communities. Above all, and crucially, it celebrates the climate heroines and heroes, the farmers and communities leading the way with agroecology and rooted resistance.

Vanessa Nakate, Activist, writes in the foreword of our new report

This flagship report of our campaign, Fund our Future, looks at the role played by major international banks in financing fossil fuels and industrial agriculture in the Global South. It also examines the current role of public financing in supporting fossil fuels and industrial agriculture, and how public finance could instead support a transition towards a more sustainable future based on renewable energy and agroecology.

  • In Part 1, we set out the context of the climate crisis to explain why system change is needed. We examine the climate impacts of fossil fuels and industrial agriculture, as well as their broader effects on the environment, gender equity and social justice.
  • Part 2 looks at financial flows to industrial agriculture and fossil fuels that are harming the planet, and evidence that finance flows for fossil fuels are still far greater than those for climate adaptation and mitigation. Private financial flows can take various forms – including bond and shareholdings by asset managers, pension funds and insurance companies. For the purposes of this report, however, we focus on bank financing, in the form of loans and underwriting. We find that bank financing for the fossil fuel industry in the 134 countries of the Global South reached an estimated US$3.2 trillion dollars since 2016 when the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was adopted. Bank financing to the largest industrial agriculture companies operating in the Global South amounted to US$370 billion over the same period.
  • Part 3 of the report examines how public finds are currently harming the public interest. We survey the financing offered to industrial agriculture and fossil fuels by state-owned banks and enterprises, development finance, public investment funds, and public subsidies.
  • Real and sustainable solutions to address global energy and food requirements already exist, which we examine in Part 4.
  • In the final section of this report, Part 5, we set out recommendations for banks and governments to support a just transition from funding the world’s destruction, to financing its hope for survival.

Read the report, share with your networks and join ActionAid on our journey to end the funding of our world’s destruction, and instead, #FundOurFuture.

Read full report on Action Aid’s website

Check it out
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