Asian banks are failing on climate by channeling billions into coal, report says
February 26, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.
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Many of the world's leading financial institutions have pledged in recent years to slash their support for the coal and oil industries. But a new report has found that hundreds of billions of dollars are still being channeled into fossil fuels, and Asia's banks are doing much of that business.
Globally, 380 commercial banks lent the coal industry $315 billion over the past two years, according to the report, which was compiled by more than two dozen non-governmental organizations, including Urgewald, Reclaim Finance, Rainforest Action Network and 350. org Japan.
Meanwhile, the world's top 10 underwriters — banks that raise investment capital for companies by issuing bonds or shares on their behalf and selling them to investors — are all Chinese financial institutions, the report found.
Chinese banks channeled $467 billion to the coal industry over the past two years, more than half of the total examined by the report.
But environmental groups say fossil fuel policies adopted by banks don't go far enough and financial institutions should support their countries' climate goals by divesting of coal investments at home and abroad.
The world's leading underwriters for coal are all Chinese, according to the report, which singled out the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the China International Trust and Investment Corporation, and the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank as the top banks raising money for the industry.
Chinese banks channeled $467 billion to the coal industry over the past two years through underwriting, followed by banks in the United States with $104 billion, then Japan, India and the United Kingdom.
350 Asia Finance Campaigner Chuck Baclagon said continued investments in coal projects from the world's biggest banks will become even riskier as the world recovers from Covid-19.
Meanwhile, US investors are making by far the biggest institutional investments in the global coal industry, with shares and bonds worth $602 billion — 52% of the market share.