Banking on Climate Chaos: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2022
29 March 2022
Fossil fuel financing from the world’s 60 largest banks has reached USD $4.6 trillion in the six years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, with $742 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2021 alone. This report examines commercial and investment bank financing for the fossil fuel industry — aggregating their leading roles in lending and underwriting debt and equity issuances — and finds that even in a year where net-zero commitments were all the rage, the financial sector continued its business-as-usual driving of climate chaos. Fossil fuel financing plateaued last year, amid a lagging recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic — yet at levels still higher than in 2016, the first year after the Paris Agreement was adopted. These findings underscore the need for banks to immediately implement policies that end their financing for fossil fuel expansion and begin to zero out their support altogether. Overall fossil fuel financing remains dominated by four U.S. banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America — who together account for one quarter of all fossil fuel financing identified over the last six years. RBC is Canada’s worst banker of fossil fuels, with Barclays as the worst in Europe and MUFG as the worst in Japan. These banks may tout their commitments to helping their clients transition, and yet the 60 banks profiled in this report funneled $185.5 billion just last year into the 100 companies doing the most to expand the fossil fuel sector, such as Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil — even when carbon budgets make clear that we cannot afford any new coal, gas, or oil supply or infrastructure. Banking on Climate Chaos 2022 also assesses bank financing for top companies in certain spotlight fossil fuel sectors, and highlights the communities fighting projects in these sectors that threaten their lives and livelihoods.