According to the latest report released by Research Institute reclaim finance and urgewald, since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, the funds provided by major British banks for coal related projects are still increasing year by year, the Guardian reported. Although the British government has been emphasizing the policy of dealing with climate change, the UK is still the third largest coal supporter in the world after the United States and Japan, and British financial institutions will still make huge profits from coal related projects in the next few years.
According to the statistics of the report, in 2019 alone, the various forms of funds provided by major financial institutions in the UK to the coal industry totaled US $30.3 billion, far higher than the US $21.5 billion in 2016.
Among them, the UK’s Barclays Bank, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank are among the top three financial institutions supporting coal related projects, including coal production and sales, coal power generation or coal industry related services.
According to the data, in 2019, the bank provided about US $17.5 billion to companies with coal related businesses through loans, subscription and other means, and the funding objects include Duke energy, a US power company, Glencore, a mining company, etc. In the same year, HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank provided about US $6.5 billion and US $4.6 billion respectively to coal related enterprises. The enterprises that obtained the funds included Indonesia’s state-owned power company, Indonesia’s state-owned power company, Adani, India’s coal company and KEPCO, Korea’s power company.
The report also shows that during the period from January to October 2020, the three banks provided about 19.2 billion US dollars for the coal industry, which is also significantly higher than before.
Lucie Pinson, executive director of reclaim finance and urgewald, pointed out that in the international community, the British government has repeatedly stressed its leadership in combating climate change, but the performance of the British financial sector has been disappointing.
According to the guardian, a number of government and private investors in the UK have written to the bank asking it to make changes as soon as possible. However, in response, the bank said that it had introduced relevant strategies to combat climate change for the first time in 2020 and believed that it could “achieve net zero emissions while helping fossil energy customers”.