Banking on Climate Chaos
Banking on Climate Chaos 2021 looks at the world’s 60 largest private sector banks and finds that together they financed fossil fuels with $3.8 trillion since the Paris Agreement was adopted.
Despite a massive global drop in fossil fuel demand and production last year, banks’ 2020 fossil fuel financing numbers still remained above 2016 levels, and the overall trend of the last five years remains headed in the wrong direction. The report was published March 23 by Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance and Sierra Club, and endorsed by more than 300 organizations from nearly 50 countries.
JPMorgan Chase remains the world’s worst funder of climate chaos, though Citi came in a close second in 2020. Worst in Canada: RBC. Worst in the UK: Barclays. Worst in the EU: BNP Paribas. Worst in Japan: MUFG. Worst in China: Bank of China.
Banking on Climate Chaos also scores banks’ fossil fuel policies, and analyzes the recent wave of bank financed emissions commitments — finding that “net zero” commitments are a reluctant admission that banks are major emitters, but no substitute for immediate steps to phase out financing of fossil fuels, and that banks must avoid relying on “net zero” schemes that violate human rights and Indigenous rights.
The report also highlights case studies around the world where banks’ fossil fuel financing harms communities on the ground, from the Line 3 tar sands pipeline in Minnesota, to the EMBA Hunutlu coal plant in Turkey.
At bankingonclimatechaos.org you can download the report, interact with the data, read the case studies, and take action. If you’d like to spread the word, here is a social media toolkit with some sample posts and share graphics for your use! Thank you for all you are doing to end bank financing for fossil fuels and human rights abuses.
Prairie State Costs Consumers $$$
Yesterday RMI released its (long-awaited) report on the Prairie State Energy Campus coal plant! It finds, in short, that closing Prairie State and replacing it with clean energy would benefit consumers.
Prairie State is the largest coal plant in Illinois and one of the largest contributors to climate change in the U.S. CEJA would close Prairie State along with the rest of Illinois’ fossil fuel generation, but we have our work cut out for us to demonstrate to some skeptical policymakers that closing the plant is a good decision not only for our climate, but for consumers. This report is a key step in that direction.
You can read the report in full here:
For reference, Prairie State Energy Campus (“PSEC”) is among the newest coal power plants in the country (built in 2012), and the largest coal plant in Illinois (1624 MW). It has a very unusual ownership structure, where municipal and rural cooperative utilities are part owners of the plant and obligated to purchase energy from it (nearly 400 utilities in all, with 59 in Illinois). The structure of these contracts insulates the plant from market conditions, making it difficult to close without regulatory action.
Key findings from the report are below, added emphasis is mine:
- On economics:
- “By 2030, closing PSEC and replacing it with a clean energy portfolio … is expected to save ratepayers money without sacrificing reliability.”
- “Keeping PSEC closure in comprehensive clean energy legislation can help overcome a collective action challenge that may keep PSEC owners from all agreeing to close the plant, and it can also help PSEC owners avoid the increasing liability over long-term coal ash disposal from PSEC.”
- On the environment:
- “In 2019, PSEC emitted greenhouse gasses equivalent to 2.7 million typical passenger cars—more than twice as much CO2 as any other point source in Illinois. In addition to CO2, PSEC emits more methane, SO2, and NOX than any other power plant in the state.”
- “Contrary to claims that PSEC is more efficient from an emissions perspective than other coal plants, PSEC’s emissions rate is higher than other large coal plants in the state and significantly higher than power produced at natural gas, nuclear, or wind power plants.”
Expanding the Dakota Access Pipeline poses a serious threat to Indigenous communities and their drinking water, and the climate. We have seen courts side with us against this dirty project, yet pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners is still pushing ahead on expansion. It’s time to send a clear message to the Biden Administration: Reject DAPL just like KXL.
- Sign the petition: Shut Down the Dakota Access Pipeline.
- Watch and share: The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and EarthJustice released a video “Tȟokáta Hé Miyé (My Name Is Future)” calling on President Biden to shut down DAPL just as he canceled KXL.