Europe’s top banks provide £24bn to oil and gas firms

According to data, Europe’s largest banks, led by HSBC, Barclays, and BNP Paribas, have loaned £24 billion to oil and gas businesses growing output less than a year after vowing to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Drilling new oil wells and tapping new gas reserves using funding from large banks appear to defy international accords and weaken attempts to hasten the transition to renewable energy sources, according to the research.

Banks have realized that banks play a critical role in the transition away from fossil fuels, and several joined the UN-backed Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) in April, which requires them to set carbon emission reduction objectives.

According to a report by the campaign organization ShareAction, 25 banks that committed to reducing emissions have contributed $33 billion (£24 billion) in loans and other financing to 50 companies with big oil and gas expansion ambitions.

ExxonMobil, based in the United States, has tried to ignore shareholder demands to reduce emissions, as well as Saudi Aramco, a state-owned oil corporation, and London-listed Shell and BP, who have made big profits from recent gas price increases.

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