The quantity of CO2 manufacturing financed by Britain’s banks and asset managers is almost double the UK’s annual carbon emissions, in accordance with a brand new report.
The examine, printed by environmental marketing campaign teams Greenpeace and WWF, reveals the Metropolis supplied loans and investments for initiatives and corporations that emitted 805m tonnes of CO2 in 2019. That’s 1.8 occasions the UK’s personal annual internet emissions for a similar yr, which totalled 455m tonnes when discounting aviation and transport, sectors that the UK authorities additionally does not include in its emissions calculations.
It highlights the monetary trade as one of many UK’s largest contributors to the local weather disaster, and implies that if the Metropolis had been its personal nation, it might outrank Germany because the ninth largest emitter of CO2 on the planet. Germany was accountable for emitting 776m tonnes of carbon in 2018, in accordance with the newest obtainable knowledge.
WWF and Greenpeace are calling on the federal government to introduce new rules that will carry the sector in step with Paris settlement targets, which intention to restrict world temperature will increase to 1.5C above pre-industrial ranges.
Greenpeace UK’s govt director, John Sauven, mentioned the UK couldn’t flip a blind eye to the Metropolis’s contribution to the local weather disaster, significantly earlier than this yr’s “pivotal” Cop26 local weather change convention in Glasgow, set for November.
“Finance is the UK’s soiled little secret,” Sauven mentioned. “Banks and traders are accountable for extra emissions than most nations, and the UK authorities is giving them a free go. How can we are saying we’re ‘main the world on local weather motion’ whereas permitting monetary establishments to plough billions into fossil gas manufacturing yearly? The declare is sort of laughable.”
The evaluation, carried out by local weather options agency South Pole, measured the lending and funding actions of the UK’s monetary sector, based mostly on a pattern of 15 banks and 10 asset managers.
Over the weekend, the G7 group of the world’s richest superior nations made recent pledges to end direct government support for overseas coal projects by the tip of the yr. It got here simply days after the Worldwide Power Company (IEA) mentioned there may very well be no new investments in oil, gas and coal from this year onwards, if authorities are critical about assembly the objective of internet zero emissions by 2050.
A spokesperson for the financial institution foyer group UK Finance mentioned lenders took their “accountability to wider society very significantly” and had been taking a “main position within the shift to internet zero finance”. Final month, the UK’s six largest lenders dedicated to reaching internet zero emissions from their portfolios by 2050 or sooner, as a part of the UN’s new Web Zero Banking Alliance.
“The trade will proceed work with others to assist mobilise capital in a manner that takes account of area people and environmental wants,” UK Finance mentioned.
The High 10 CO2 emitters and the place the Metropolis would slot in
Annual CO2 emissions by gigatonne (Gt) or megatonne (Mt):
1 China: 11.71Gt
2 United States: 5.79Gt
3 India: 3.35Gt
4 Russia: 1.99Gt
5 Indonesia: 1.70Gt
6 Brazil: 1.42Gt
7 Japan: 1.15Gt
8 Iran: 828.34Mt
9 UK finance trade: 805Mt*
10 Germany: 776.61Mt
*Observe: Equal CO2 emissions associated to UK banks’ and asset managers’ financing of initiatives and corporations in 2019, as calculated by South Pole. Nation calculations are based mostly on the latest knowledge, which is from 2018.