Investing in fossil fuels is the greatest crime against humanity – MPs should treat it as such

We are endlessly told that climate campaigners should be targeting China. But it is clear that the UK’s banks and oil corporations are co-signing nature’s death warrant

Arguing as to whether the general election is the Brexit election or the climate and ecological emergency election is like rowing over which is more important: the details of a will bequeathing the family home or putting out the blaze that is actually burning it to the ground.

Oil refinery plant at night

Oil refinery plant at night

At the core of these emergencies is the City of London. For years, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, has rightly called on the finance industry to stop funding climate and ecological destruction and to instead fund the transformation to a safe zero-carbon economy; one that is not ecologically destructive.

Despite the governor’s remonstrances, the City remains one of the world’s largest financial centres for the fossil fuel corporations. Seventy per cent of the capital investments by oil corporations are funded by the banks rather than by themselves. Bank financing for fossil fuels has increased every year since the Paris Agreement on climate change was signed in 2015.

The City of London’s banks and oil corporations are pouring billions into new fossil fuel exploration and infrastructure, despite knowing that this will destroy any remaining hope of achieving the UN target of limiting a rise in global temperatures to 1.5C.

A report by NGO Global Witness in April 2019 stated that a terrifying $5 trillion (£3.9 trillion) was planned for new coal, oil and fossil gas projects across the world over the next decade. Since 2015, $2 trillion has been insanely invested in the global industry. UK banks, coal and oil corporations are estimated to be contributing about 15 per cent to this climatically suicidal global financing.

Read more: Independent

 

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By |2019-11-18T13:19:11+00:00November 19th, 2019|Energy and Climate Change, News, Opinion|
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