Financial companies are increasingly being recognized — by their clients, shareholders, regulators, and the general public — as climate actors, with a responsibility to mitigate their climate impact. For the banks highlighted in this report, the last year has brought a groundswell of activism demanding banks cut their fossil fuel financing, at the same time that increasingly extreme weather events have further underscored the urgency of the climate crisis.
This report adds up financing from 35 private-sector banks to the fossil fuel industry, summing their leading roles in lending and underwriting of debt and equity issuances. These 35 banks from Canada, China, Europe, Japan, and the U.S. have together funneled USD $2.7 trillion into fossil fuels in the four years since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016-2019). The biggest fossil bank over that time was JPMorgan Chase, followed by its U.S. peers: Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America. Over those four years, RBC was the biggest fossil bank in Canada, MUFG in Japan, Barclays in Europe, and Bank of China in China.