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Barclays has financed $5.6bn in new fossil fuel projects since January

fossil fuel

Barclays has financed $5.6bn in new fossil fuel projects since January

Barclays has financed more in fossil fuel projects than any of the UK’s largest banks in the months leading up to the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, according to a report by climate finance campaigners.

The bank financed $5.6bn (£4.1bn) for new fossil fuel projects from January 2021 to the eve of the UN climate summit, Market Forces found, despite growing international warnings that any new fossil developments would destroy any chance of avoiding a catastrophic climate breakdown.

Barclays’ multibillion pound support for fossil fuel projects was ranked ahead of that of HSBC, which financed $5.3bn this year, and Standard Chartered, which made $4.3bn available.

The report found Barclays financed a $194m bond to the Canada-headquartered pipeline company Enbridge, which part-owns the controversial Dakota access pipeline which is expected to carry enough crude oil to produce the emissions of 30 coal plants every year. It also said the bank provided $200m to MEG Energy, which extracts Canadian tar sands oil, one of the most polluting fuels on the planet.

The report also revealed how HSBC and Standard Chartered participated in a $6bn bond issuance to Saudi Aramco, the world’s most polluting company, and that HSBC financed a $1.5bn bond to Qatar Petroleum, which owns the world’s biggest gas field.

The three banks have extended financing to fossil fuel companies despite committing to net zero carbon emissions from financing activity by 2050 and issuing warnings that no new fossil fuel projects are compatible with keeping global heating in check.

The report’s findings came ahead of a series of Cop26 events scheduled for Wednesday that are intended to mobilise public and private finance to help tackle the climate emergency.

Mia Watanabe, a campaigner at Market Forces, said: “Despite their warm words, these banks continue to finance fossil fuel companies and projects that are destroying the world’s hopes of meeting climate targets.”

In a stunt to mark the latest report, Market Forces held a Formula One-style “prize giving” for the banks’ “race to disaster” outside Barclays’ Glasgow offices, which is a stone’s throw from the Cop26 venue.

A previous annual report by the group that tracked global fossil fuel financing found that in the five years after the signing of the Paris agreement, the three banks combined financed more than $257bn in the coal, oil and gas sectors.

That report found Barclays was the world’s seventh-biggest fossil fuel funder, and the biggest in Europe, while HSBC was ranked 13th in the world. Although Standard Chartered trailed at 34 globally, it is also the top UK financier of new coal plants in Asia, according to Market Forces.

The latest report follow news that Jes Staley has stepped down as the chief executive of Barclays after an investigation by City regulators into how he described his relationship with the billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Standard Chartered said last week that it would set “ambitious new targets” to reach net zero from financed activity by 2050, including interim 2030 targets for the most carbon-intensive sectors, that were aligned with the International Energy Agency’s scenario for a net zero energy system by 2050.

The global energy watchdog said in May that there could be no new oil, gas or coal development if the world was to reach net zero by 2050. Only days later a UN report warned that fossil fuel production planned by the world’s governments “vastly” exceeded the limit needed to keep the rise in global heating to 1.5C and avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis.

“The science is clear – banks that keep funding fossil fuels can’t be climate leaders,” Watanabe added.

A spokesperson for Barclays was not immediately available to comment. A HSBC spokesperson said the bank was “firmly committed” to aligning its provision of finance to net zero by 2050 or sooner. “We have committed to phase out thermal coal financing by 2030 in EU and OECD markets and by 2040 globally and to set out short and medium-term transition targets for the oil and gas and power and utilities sector. We expect to provide between $750bn and $1trn towards the net zero-transition by 2030,” the spokesperson added.

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Environment

F.G’s Dangote Flood Committee Shares N1.5b Relief Materials To Flood Victims

The Dangote-led Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation (PCFRR), known as Dangote Flood Committee has distributed N1.5 billion relief materials to victims of flooding nationwide.

The PCFRR, which was established by the Federal Government following the 2012 flooding, is co-chaired by Africa’s foremost industrialist Aliko Dangote and Dr. Olisa Agbakoba.

The flagging off ceremony for the relief materials distribution for this year started in Borno State and was conducted by the State Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum Tuesday in Maiduguri, Borno State capital. The Governor thanked the Dangote Flood Committee and promised that he will ensure that the items get to the victims.

UNICEF revealed that the 2022 flood killed 600 people, displaced 1.3 million and destroyed more than 82,000 homes in Nigeria, therefore making it the worst in decades.

The representative of the committee, Alhaji Umar Musa Gulani, assured at the flagging off for the Northeast zone that the exercise would also be conducted in the other five geopolitical zones of the country.

Gulani said the items from the committee have been officially handed over to the Borno State Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA). He said the exercise would be conducted across the six geo-political zones, beginning from the northeastern State of Borno.

The breakdown of items donated includes 86 bags of rice, 34 bags of beans, 34 bags of maize, 34 bags of millet, 34 bags of Guinea Corn, 34 bags of Garri, 86 cartons of noodles, 86 cartons of spaghetti, 86 cartons of macaroni and 86 bags of sugar, and 857 bags of cement, among several food and non-food items.

Gulani said over N10 billion has been expended by the committee to mitigate the effect of flooding since inception in 2012, adding that no fewer than 84 Hostels have been built for flood victims in 24 states of Nigeria. According to him: “This private sector led project is highly commendable and it has been sustained in the past ten years. It is a selfless service from the private sector and Nigerians should appreciate their selfless service to humanity”.

Director General of NEMA Alhaji Mustapha Habib Ahmed described the Committee’s intervention as a milestone for Nigeria in general, and flood victims in particular. “Responding to the humanitarian outcomes of this nature requires concerted effort,” the DG said, and added that the donation by the Dangote Flood Committee would eventually be made available to flood victims across the affected states in Nigeria.

Speaking on behalf of the victims, Khalifa El-Miskin said the victims were extremely appreciative of the gesture.

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Environment

600 Persons Killed, 1.3m Displaced By Floods – UNICEF

The United Nations Children’s Fund has said at least that 600 persons died and 1.3 million others rendered homeless by floods.

This was disclosed by the Chief of UNICEF Field Office, Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, on Saturday, during an official handover of supplies for Anambra State Flood Response from UNICEF to Anambra State Government

Ms Chiluwe said the figure was obtained according to government data available it received.

During the visit by the UNICEF, the first set of supplies of 100 drums of chlorine for disinfection of water sources, 40 cartons of Aquatabs for household water treatment and 320 cartons of Ready to Use Therapeutic food were handed over to the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, who was represented by his deputy, Onyekachukwu Ibezim.

The UNICEF official said, “We acknowledged that since September 2022, the worst floods in a decade affected 2.8 million people, of which an estimated 60 per cent are children, across 34 of the 36 states in Nigeria. Of those affected, 1.3 million people have been displaced, and over 600 people have died in relation to flooding according to government data.

“Continuous heavy rains have collapsed hundreds of public health facilities, water systems and sanitation facilities, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhoea, and malaria.

“To contribute to the effort of government and other development partners, UNICEF, with funding the Central Emergency Response Fund, has initiated a multisectoral response comprising Health, Child Protection and WASH sectors, to mitigate the impact of the floods support the early recovery-phase of the affected population in Anambra State.“

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Environment

Dantata, Rabiu, Others Gift Jigawa Flood Victims N1b

Nigerian businessman and philanthropist, Alhaji Aminu Dantata, and Abdulsamad Rabiu, the founder of BUA group, on Saturday raised over N1 billion for Jigawa flood victims.

The donations were made in Dutse at the fund raising in support of the 2022 flood victims in the state.

Dantata and Rabiu each donated N200 million, Jigawa State Government N250 million, Gov. Muhammad Badaru, donated N25 million on behalf of himself, family and his company, Talamis Group.

However, Dantata, who was represented by Alhaji Salisu Sambajo, expressed concern over the conditions in which the flood victims found themselves after the disaster.

The philanthropist prayed for those who died during the disaster and sympathised with those who lost their property and crops in the floods.

Similarly, Badaru also expressed appreciation to the teeming donors for their kind gesture and urged the fund raising committee to be equitable and just in the distribution of the palliatives and cash.

The committee Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, (Wazirin Dutse) and former Minister of Power, thanked individuals and group of companies for supporting the victims.

Other donors included the members of the state and National Assembly as well as Council Chairmen.

Zenith Bank, Jaiz Bank, FCMB, Sterling Bank, GTBANK and Unity Bank were among the financial institutions who made donations.

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