18 NGOs including Reclaim Finance have released around the 5th Paris Agreement anniversary, a joint report showcasing 12 of the most devastating fossil fuel expansion areas that are currently planned or under development. These expansion projects alone would use up three-quarters of the total remaining carbon budget if we are to have a 66% probability of limiting global warming to 1.5° Celsius. The group of organizations call the finance sector to rapidly move money and services such as insurance out of the fossil fuel industry. The first priority should be to no longer enable coal, oil and gas expansion projects – such as those covered in the report – to move forward.
- The 12 case studies highlight the immense environmental damage, violation of Indigenous rights, negative health impacts, human rights concerns and expected CO2 emissions caused by each of the projects.
The case studies are: gas extraction in Mozambique; oil & gas development in Suriname; oil & gas drilling in the US Permian Basin; oil & gas extraction in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta region; coal and gas in Bangladesh’s Payra Hub; China’s new coal power plants; India’s coal mines; coal expansion in the Philippines; gas extraction as part of Australia’s Burrup Hub; drilling for oil & gas in the Norway Barents Sea; oil & gas projects and pipeline construction in the East Mediterranean; and offshore oil & gas drilling in the UK.
- Together, these 12 projects are expected to cause at least 175 gigatons of additional CO2 equivalent emissions, should they move forward as intended by the companies involved.
This is almost half of the 395 Gt of carbon budget remaining if we are to limit global warming to 1.5°C with a 50% probability. It is almost 75% of the remaining 235 Gt carbon budget which would provide a 66% probability of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.
- The companies represented in the most case studies are ExxonMobil, BP and Total.
These oil majors are each involved in six out of the eight oil and gas projects in the report. Shell and Chevron are involved in five of the eight oil and gas projects. Equinor is involved in four, while Repsol and Eni are each represented in three.
- The report finds that financial institutions have provided $1.6 trillion in loans and underwriting since January 2016 and invested $1.1 trillion in bonds and shares in the 133 companies driving the 12 fossil fuel expansion projects.
- 20 investors provided almost half of the total investments – $535 billion of the total $1.1 trillion – identified in the report.
Among the top investors, US financial institutions, led by BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street are the worst offenders. Only four of the top 20 investors are not from the US: the Norwegian Government Pension Fund, UBS (Switzerland), Deutsche Bank (Germany) and Legal & General (UK).
- The top 20 banks provided more than half of the total funding to the fossil fuel companies involved in these 12 projects.
The US banks CitiGroup, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase are the top financiers with a total of $295 billion.
There are eight European banks among the top 20. Together, they provided $308 billion, led by Barclays ($66.4 billion) and HSBC ($55.2 billion), and followed by BNP Paribas ($52.7 billion.
The Japanese banks in the top 20, Mitsubishi, Mizuho and SMBC, provided financing worth $149 billion.