JP Morgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America have been branded the worst three “climate killers” in the financial sector over their large-scale investments in coal industries, in a report by German green group Urgewald, South African organizations GroundWork and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and international financial sector monitor BankTrack.
Figures in Bankrolling Climate Change show that since 2005 JPMorgan has invested €16.5 billion ($22.2 billion) into coal fired electricity and coal mining. Citi has pumped €13.7 billion into the industry and Bank of America almost €12.6 billion (see graph). The three U.S. banks top the list of largest coal investors.
The report says that these figures are in “sharp contrast to the everyday rhetoric” of these banks. Almost all of the top 20 coal investors have made “far-reaching statements regarding their commitment to combating climate change,” the report says. Citi brands itself the “most innovative bank in climate change,” according to the report.
Continued investment on this scale could hamper efforts to keep global temperature rises under 2º Celsius, the report says.
Bankrolling Climate Change examined the portfolio of 93 banks and their financing of 31 major coal-mining companies and 40 producers of coal-fired electricity since 2005, the year the Kyoto protocol came into force.
In November, Google abandoned efforts to make renewable energy cheaper than coal. The internet giant axed seven projects that hadn’t had the impact Google had been hoping for, the company blogged.