Global coal financing falls as LNG infrastructure rises


Global financial support for the fossil fuel industry has been increasing since 2015, when the Paris Agreement was adopted, environmental organisations say.

Banking on Climate Change 2020, released by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance, and the Sierra Club adds up lending and underwriting to 2,100 companies across the coal, oil and gas sectors globally over the period 2016-2019. The report finds that fossil fuel financing continues to be dominated by the big US banks - JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America – who jointly account for 30% of all fossil fuel financing.

The report also found that 100 companies planning new coal, oil and gas extraction accessed financing of $975 billion – including a 40% increase between 2018 and 2019 – of the $2.7 trillion total.

However, within that group the report found an overall decline in financing for coal mining and power, where bank policies restrict investment. Instead it appears financing has been heading to the gas sector, where finance for liquefied natural gas import and export terminals jumped 39% last year.

Almost all the banks profiled allow unrestricted financing for companies producing and expanding oil and gas offshore, the report said. Funding to companies with significant Arctic oil and gas reserves, and for fracked oil and gas, have both been increasing.

In tar sands extraction financing has fallen since 2017, though 2019 levels remain higher than 2016. Many European banks have implemented policies to restrict financing for the tar sands sector.

Read the full report here