LONDON: Britain’s biggest banks have made “hollow” carbon-reduction pledges and are key financiers of coal, a campaign group said in a report Tuesday ahead of the UK hosting a climate summit.
Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Standard Chartered provided $56 billion (46 billion euros) to coal firms over two years to late 2020, according to Reclaim Finance.
The British government, which will host UN global climate change summit COP26 in Glasgow in November, has itself pledged to hit net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to help meet its commitments under the Paris climate accord.
Britain’s biggest banks must meanwhile back up their zero-carbon ambitions with concrete measures including an end to coal finance, Reclaim argued.
“While net zero announcements from UK financial institutions are multiplying, the coal sector is still attracting billions in financial support from UK banks and investors,” read the report compiled along with German NGO Urgewald.
“When placed alongside the brutal reality of the climate and health impacts of the coal sector, these net zero pledges ring hollow.”
London is the third biggest coal finance hub after New York and Tokyo, according to the report which used earnings and other publically available information.