Banks and the Climate Crisis

Almost 80% of the primary energy demand globally comes from fossil fuels. However, fossil fuel production and use must decline rapidly and drastically to keep global heating below 1.5°C. This target was set in the Paris Agreement 2015 and underpinned by the recent IPCC report, which predicts otherwise drastic consequences such as heatwaves, floods, forest firest, and food and water insecurities.

Despite this need to reduce fossil fuels, the world’s 60 largest commercial and investment banks have given $3.8 trillion in funding to fossil fuel companies from 2016 to 2020. The money is going towards the production and use of tar sands oil, liquefied natural gas, coal mining and coal power, and arctic, offshore, and fracked oil and gas.

To keep global heating below 1.5°C, banks must stop funding fossil fuels. If you want to take action to end fossil finance:

  • Find out what your bank does with your money (you can visit websites like Banktrack or Fossilbanks)
  • Ask your bank if your money is being used to fund fossil fuel extraction and encourage them to stop doing it (via the Protect Our Winters campaign or find a template letter here)
  • Change to a greener bank
  • Join the climate movement and strike to end fossil finance

Sources: The World Energy Outlook 2019, find their research here. Banking on Climate Chaos: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2021, find the full report here. IPCC 2021, find a summary of the report here. Welsby et al. 2021, find their paper here.

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