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British banks finance projects that emit 805m tonnes of CO2 annually

Britain’s bank financed projects that emitted 805m tonnes of CO2 in 2019 an amount equal to 1.8 times the UK’s own annual net emissions over the same period.
A new report published by Greenpeace and WWF, shows the City provided loans and investments for projects and companies that make it one of the largest contributors to the climate crisis.

The report added that if the City were a country, it would outrank Germany as the ninth largest emitter of CO2 in the world.

WWF and Greenpeace called on the government to introduce new regulations that would bring the sector in line with the Paris agreement targets.

Greenpeace UK’s executive director, John Sauven said: “Finance is the UK’s dirty little secret. Banks and investors are responsible for more emissions than most nations, and the UK government is giving them a free pass. How can we say we’re ‘leading the world on climate action’ while allowing financial institutions to plough billions into fossil fuel production every year? The claim is almost laughable.”

According to the Guardian, a spokesperson for the bank lobby group UK Finance said lenders took their “responsibility to wider society very seriously” and were taking a “leading role in the shift to net zero finance.”

It comes after the UK’s six largest banks made commitments last month to achieve net zero emissions in their investment portfolios by 2050.

“The industry will continue to work with others to help mobilise capital in a way that takes account of local community and environmental needs,” UK Finance said.

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