fossil fuels

Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact

Read time: 6 mins
JPMorgan Chase building in New York City

A report published today names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris Agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.

The top four banks that invested most heavily in fossil fuel projects are all based in the U.S., and include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America. Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays in Europe, Japan’s MUFG, TD Bank, Scotiabank, and Mizuho make up the remainder of the top 10.

Protestors Target Companies Supporting Fracking in UK Day of Action

Read time: 3 mins

Anti-fracking campaigners gathered in Windsor today to protest against Centrica’s investments in the fracking industry.

The demonstration was part of a UK-wide day of action targeting companies that support oil and gas production by providing finance, materials, and infrastructure to the industry.

We are targeting companies such as Centrica, that are linked with Cuadrilla,” said Annabel Gregory, a member of Reclaim the Power, the anti-fossil fuel group that organised the protests. “This is a series of coordinated actions to expose the supply chains. Centrica is implicit in supporting fracking in the UK.”

Broken Promises and a Legacy of Distrust: Restoration Failures Show Long-Term Impact of Coal Mines

Read time: 14 mins
Coal mine

Eddy Blanche is jubilant. “I still can’t believe we won – it took us five years but we beat them. I’m gobsmacked.”

The rejection of the extension to the Ffos-y-Fran mine at the top of the Rhymney Valley in Wales has been seen by campaigners as an historic victory. Known as Nant Llesg, the new section of mine would have seen the extraction of another six million tonnes of coal from the site, which has been in operation since 2007.

Caerphilly County Borough Council turned down the application in 2015. The developer, then known as Miller Argent, lodged an appeal. But the Planning Inspectorate threw out the case in September after the company, by then known as Blackstone (Merthyr Limited), failed to submit extra information on the environmental statement it had requested.

It wasn’t just a win for us, it was a win for all campaigns — against fracking, open cast mines, street trees being cut down,” Blanche, a committee member of campaign group United Valley Action Group (UVAG) enthuses.

IPCC Report Says 1.5C Climate Target Is Reachable, But Only With Rapid Fossil Fuel Phase Out

Read time: 5 mins
wind turbines in front of coal power plant in UK

There is no scenario to keep global warming to 1.5°C (2.7°F) that allows coal to be burned for electricity by the middle of this century, a major United Nations (UN) climate report says.

The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report concludes human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have already pushed global average temperatures up by 1°C since the second half of the 19th century.

Warming is higher than the 1°C average over land, with temperatures as much as three times higher in the Arctic, causing melting. Extreme temperatures, rainfall, and sea levels have been pushed higher.

Massive and rapid transformations across societies will be needed to keep to a 1.5°C target, with dramatic cuts to fossil fuel use across all sectors of society.

Church of England Urged to Divest from Oil and Gas Companies at Synod

Read time: 7 mins
Campaigners demand Church of England divest from fossil fuels

The Church of England’s approach to climate action has come under the spotlight ahead of its general meeting as pressure mounts for it to divest from all fossil fuel companies.

The general Synod will vote on a motion to reaffirm the Church’s existing strategy to engage with oil and gas companies and urge them to take more ambitious climate action when it meets in York later this week.

But campaigners said the motion was not going far enough and tabled an amendment calling on the Church to threaten to divest from fossil fuel companies if they are not on “an unequivocal path” to align their business models to the Paris Agreement goals by 2020.

The call for the Church to strengthen its stance on fossil fuel investments comes after Pope Francis urged big oil including Exxonmobil, Eni, Shell and BP to make a faster transition to clean energy.

Shareholders Force Big Oil to Acknowledge Climate Risk — But Are Still Waiting for Action

Read time: 3 mins

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

Oil companies are under more pressure than ever to reckon with their climate impact, this AGM season.

Supermajor Exxon Mobil has published its first assessment of what holding global warming to 2C means for its business, prompted by a shareholder revolt in 2017.

Shareholder activists have moved on to target second-tier companies, winning resolutions to make Kinder Morgan and Anadarko follow suit. Several firms pre-empted a vote by agreeing to their demands.

In Europe, where most oil majors have already produced 2C scenarios, the conversation is turning from disclosure to action.

Kicking Big Polluters Out Of Climate Talks 'Not Very Useful', Says Poland's Climate Envoy

Read time: 3 mins

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

Poland’s climate envoy dismissed calls to keep polluters out of UN talks, ahead of a controversial negotiation in Bonn on Thursday about widening participation.

Activists outside the talks put pressure on the EU to support a conflict of interest policy for businesses getting involved in the process. They argue that fossil fuel companies are a malign influence and weaken climate ambition to protect their profits.

But Tomasz Chruszczow, who has a leading role in this December’s Katowice climate summit, told Climate Home News in an interview he did not recognise that problem.

We want everybody in this action,” he said. “Even if they are now generating electricity from fossil fuels – the majority of electricity comes from fossil fuels – still it is changing, but it is a process.

North Sea Clean-Up Costs 'Likely To Double’

Read time: 4 mins

By Alex Kirby, Climate News Network

The UK’s North Sea clean-up costs – the price to be paid for decommissioning its oil and gas industry – will probably more than double, a British group says.

The group is the Intergenerational Foundation (IF), an independent, non-party-political charity which works to protect the rights of younger and future generations in British policy-making.

It says British children will face a bill for decommissioning the North Sea fossil fuel industry that is likely to be double the government’s estimate – £80bn, not the official target of £39bn. In arriving at the lower figure, the Foundation says, the UK government ignored evidence from its own industry regulator of typical overspending, leading to a serious underestimate of the real costs.

Labour: Fossil Fuel Companies Knew about Climate Change and Can No Longer Hide From Their Responsibilities

Read time: 3 mins

By Megan Darby, Climate Home News

UK Labour supported a call by Vanuatu for a “climate damages tax” on fossil fuel producers at a meeting of Commonwealth heads of government in London this week.

It is eminently reasonable that those most responsible for the damages caused by climate change should pay a greater share,” said UK Labour shadow international climate change minister Barry Gardiner.

He was speaking at a side event on Monday attended by Vanuatu’s foreign minister Ralph Regenvanu and Greens MP Caroline Lucas. Gardiner said Labour, unlike the Greens, had not settled on the tax as a formal policy.

Labour has not committed to a specific climate damages tax, but we are clear that fossil fuels can no longer hide away from their enormous responsibilities,” Gardiner said.

Mapped: The UK Universities that have Pledged to Divest from Fossil Fuels

Read time: 6 mins
divestment protest

Are you a student thinking about where to go to university? Do you care about the environment, and companies whose activities are responsible for climate change?

There is a sense of momentum among the UK movement urging universities to divest from fossil fuels, and reinvest in low carbon technologies, which has been gaining traction since 2012.

Universities are major investors. Campaigners are trying to use this fact to encourage institutions to withdraw their support for the fossil fuel industry by selling their shares in dirty energy companies — also known as divestment.

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