European banks funded $55 billion of polluting projects in 2021

European banks funded $55 billion of polluting projects in 2021

Bloomberg: Europe’s largest lenders potentially face another awkward round of shareholder meetings after providing $55 billion of funding to companies expanding their oil and gas operations last year, despite widespread pledges to slash such funding.

ShareAction, a London-based nonprofit known for pushing climate-change resolutions at HSBC Holdings Plc and Barclays Plc, is calling on shareholders to demand that banks halt all investments in new fossil-fuel production, according to a statement. They cite the International Energy Agency, which has warned there’s no room for such investments if the planet is to limit warming to the critical threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“Last year shareholders were instrumental in pushing banks to adopt or strengthen restrictions on coal finance,” Kelly Shields, senior officer for banking standards at ShareAction, said in the statement. “This year they need to replicate that success with oil and gas expansion by voting for robust shareholder resolutions and against inadequate say on climate plans.”