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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

NiMet forecasts thunderstorms, cloudiness from Tues to Thursday

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted thunderstorms and cloudiness from Tuesday to Thursday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook released on Monday in Abuja, forecasts morning thunderstorms on Tuesday over parts of Borno, Adamawa, Taraba, Yobe and
Gombe states.

It envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi, Kano, Bauchi, Katsina and Taraba states later in the day.

“Partly cloudy conditions are expected over the central regions during the morning hours with prospects of afternoon/evening thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa and Kwara states.

“Cloudy skies are expected over the
southern region during the morning hours with prospects of afternoon/evening rains over part of Ondo, Edo, Enugu, Imo, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa and Lagos states,” it said.

According to NiMet, early morning thunderstorms are expected over parts of Taraba, Adamawa and Kebbi
states on Wednesday.

It further anticipated thunderstorm over parts of Taraba, Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Gombe, Bauchi and Kaduna later on Wednesday. .

“Early morning thunderstorms are anticipated over
parts of Kwara and Kogi states while later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau and Nasarawa states.

“Morning rains are anticipated over parts of Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Bayelsa states, while later in the day, rains are expected over most parts of the southern region,” it said.

NiMet predicted morning thunderstorms on Thursday over parts of Taraba state and thunderstorms over Kebbi, Zamfara, Kaduna, Katsina and Kano states later in the day.

It envisaged thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau and Nasarawa states early in the morning.

The agency predicted thunderstorms over the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi and Nasarawa states later in the day.

NiMet forecasts cloudy skies over the southern region during the morning hours with rains over the entire region later in the day.

“Strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur, public should take adequate precaution.

“Airline operators are advised to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

(NAN)

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Environment

Africa loses $15bn annually to climate change — AfDB president

Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), says Africa loses between seven billion dollars and 15 billion dollars annually due to climate change.

The President of the bank, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said this during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which was monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

According to him, this is in spite contributing only three per cent of global emissions.

Adesina said that Africa was at the forefront of climate change’s impacts, which had devastating effects on agriculture and economies.

“In response, the AfDBank has inaugurated ambitious initiatives to build resilience and adapt to a changing climate.

“The AfDB has committed to doubling its climate finance to 25 billion dollars by 2030, focusing on the African Adaptation Acceleration Programme.

“This programme aims to deploy 25 billion dollars for climate adaptation, making it the largest globally.

“Additionally, the AfDB has created a climate action window with an initial investment of 429 million dollars, expected to grow to 13 billion dollars,’’ he said.

Adesina said this window supports vulnerable countries with crop insurance, land restoration, and climate information services.

He said Innovative financial mechanisms played a crucial role in supporting these climate adaptation initiatives.

Adesina said the bank had begun using partial credit guarantees, which enabled countries like Benin, Senegal, and Cote d’Ivoire to raise significant capital at lower interest rates.

“For example, Benin raised 400 million dollars from Chinese investors using a 195 million dollar partial credit guarantee.

“The AfDB also facilitated Egypt’s Panda Bond issuance, allowing the country to secure 500 million dollars from Chinese markets.

“These financial innovations reduce the cost of borrowing for African countries and encourage long-term investments in climate resilience.

“In spite of the challenges posed by climate change, Africa is leading the charge in innovative solutions and sustainable development,’’ he said.

The AfDB boss, therefore, said that the global financial architecture was not serving Africa’s interests very well, thus requiring change.

On Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), he said the bank was championing the course on the need for Africa to take those SDRs and use them better. (NAN)

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Environment

NiMET forecasts 3-day of sunshine, cloudiness

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMet, has predicted sunshine and cloudiness from Monday to Wednesday across the country.

NiMet’s weather outlook, released on Sunday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday, with patches of clouds over the northern region and morning thunderstorms over parts of Taraba, Adamawa and Borno states.

“Later in the afternoon/evening period, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Zamfara, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Taraba and Adamawa.

“Cloudy skies with sunshine intervals are anticipated over the North Central region with chances of morning thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa states.

“Later in the day, thunderstorms are expected over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi and Benue states,” the NiMet forecast stated.

According to the agency, a cloudy atmosphere is expected over the southern states, with prospects of morning rains over parts of Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom states.

It anticipated thunderstorms over the entire region later in the day.

The agency envisaged patches of clouds on Tuesday with sunshine intervals over the northern part, with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Taraba states.

According to the forecast: “Later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Kaduna, Yobe, Taraba, Adamawa and Jigawa states.

“Patches of clouds with sunshine intervals are expected over the North Central region, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Kwara and Niger states during the morning hours.

“Later in the day, thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Kogi, Benue and Niger states.”

NiMet predicted a cloudy atmosphere over the southern states, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Cross River and Akwa Ibom states during the morning hours.

It expects rain over most parts of the region later in the day.

“On Wednesday, sunny atmosphere with patches of clouds are anticipated over the northern region, with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Borno, Taraba and Adamawa states during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Patches of clouds with sunshine intervals are expected over the North Central region, with prospects of thunderstorms expected over parts of Plateau, the Federal Capital Territory, Niger, Kwara and Nasarawa states during the afternoon/evening hours.

“Cloudy atmosphere is expected over the Southern states during the morning period. Later in the day, rains are expected over the entire region,” NiMet forecast.

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