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Top 5 UK banks banking while Borneo burns

Oct 7

Written by:
07/10/2013 13:46  RssIcon

How the UK financial sector is bankrolling Indonesia’s fossil fuel boom

The top 5 UK banks (HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, RBS and Lloyds) are complicit in fuelling climate change and destroying communities and the environment in the rainforests of Indonesian Borneo through their financing of an Indonesian coal boom, according to a new report just released.

UK banks have lent more money for Indonesian coal than banks from any other country since 2009, while Standard Chartered, the UK’s second biggest bank, has lent more than any other bank in the world. 83 per cent of coal produced in Indonesia’s top coal province on the island of Borneo is mined by companies part-financed by UK banks.

The report by the World Development Movement follows the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark assessment of the state of the world’s climate, and comes on the first day of new rules requiring all UK companies to make their carbon emissions public.

Campaigners say the UK rules will let banks off the hook by failing to include emissions from fossil fuel projects they finance.

The top five UK banks HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, RBS and Lloyds underwrote bonds and shares in fossil fuel companies worth £170 billion between 2010 and 2012. The London Stock Exchange holds more coal reserves than any other stock exchange, and total fossil fuel shares worth £900 billion, giving dirty coal, oil and gas companies access to money from UK pension funds and investors. The value of shares in renewable energy companies on the exchange is only £5 billion, or 0.56 per cent of the value of fossil fuel shares.

The World Development Movement is calling for the new carbon reporting rules to force banks and pension funds to report the carbon emissions from the fossil fuel extraction they finance, and for regulation requiring them to make public details of their fossil fuel investments.

The campaign group is also calling on the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to reform the listing criteria for the London Stock Exchange so that companies with poor social, environmental and climate records are unable to list.

Read the World Development Movement's report, 'Banking while Borneo burns'.


To see how all the banks rate across all our categories, see our Special Report on the banking industry.



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