Less than a year after pledging to be net-zero, Europe’s biggest banks gave $32 Billion (£24B) towards oil and gas company expansions.
Banks include HSBC, Barclays, and BNP Paribas.
While banks have acknowledged that the move away from fossil fuels would happen gradually, ShareAction found that 25 banks that committed investments to renewable energy sources have financed 50 companies expanding oil and gas production.
The importance of targeting fossil fuels to reduce carbon emissions.
These companies include ExxonMobil, Said Armco, Shell, and BP.
Oil and gas are currently leading polluters. Experts agree that the expansion of oil and gas production must stop to reduce global carbon emissions. Only when this is achieved could the world avoid heating more than 1.5C.
However, companies find that investors may not be on board as they thought.
Another report by accountants at EY said that 70% of UK firms have encountered resistance from investors and shareholders about green plans. 42% even said they want them to wait for competitors to act first.
Net-zero emissions goals.
A spokesperson for the NZBA secretariat, based in the United Nations, said that members who joined the alliance in April 2021 were due to set their first 2030 targets in the fall of 2022. Their focus should include oil and gas companies.
Targets must “align with no/low-overshoot 1.5°C transition pathways as specified by credible science-based climate scenarios.”
Bank spokespersons responded:
- HSBC said they would publish science-based targets for oil, gas, and electric companies this month, and are committed to the transition.
- Barclays said they are committed to reaching net-zero by 2050 and plan to have a 15% absolute reduction by 2025. They also have a restriction on fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic.
- BNP said it invests in renewable energy and other solutions to speed up the transition.
Since 2016, HSBC, Barclays, and BNP Paribas have provided the most finance to these companies 2016, at $59B, $48B, and $46B.