World's top banks' financing of fossil fuels revealed by new study

Annual reports from the world's ten largest banks show a combined $425.92 billion in 2020 alone put toward financing fossil fuels.

Published Sat, Feb 26 2022 2:02 AM CST   |   Updated Wed, Mar 23 2022 11:32 AM CDT

A study on the fossil fuel financing titled "If money talks, what is the banking industry saying about climate change?" has been published in the journal Climate Policy.

World's top banks' financing of fossil fuels revealed by new study 01 |

The top ten banks are the largest funders of fossil fuel organizations. Despite discussing climate change more in general, they haven't made any definitive action to reduce their impact on it. A total of $425.92 billion was spent in 2020 alone by banks such as JP Morgan Chase (U.S.), Barclays (U.K.), Toronto Dominion Bank (Canada), and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (Japan) on financing fossil fuels.

"If one should 'follow the money' to find the culprits of a crime, what does that say for the significant amounts of money that the financial industry puts into fossil fuels," questions author Associate Professor Asa Lofgren, from Gothenburg's Department of Economics.

The study examines annual reports spanning 2015 to 2019 from the world's ten largest banks and found the majority of their climate change-related efforts center around green technologies for their institutions, with little regard for how financing their client's influences climate change. The biggest financier of fossil fuels is JP Morgan Chase with $64.93 billion, followed by Citigroup with $52.41 billion.

"In the annual reviews that we studied, the climate change-related efforts of these huge businesses tend to relate to the direct effect of their work, such as reducing their buildings' use of electricity. There is little or no recognition of the indirect, but significant, effect of their clients' emissions," Lofgren continued.

You can read more from the study here.


Adam grew up watching his dad play Turok 2 and Age of Empires on a PC in his computer room, and learned a love for video games through him. Adam was always working with computers, which helped build his natural affinity for working with them, leading to him building his own at 14, after taking apart and tinkering with other old computers and tech lying around. Adam has always been very interested in STEM subjects, and is always trying to learn more about the world and the way it works.

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