Big banks loaned money to an oil giant under the guise of 'sustainability' — and more tales of Wall Street greenwashing | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Big banks loaned money to an oil giant under the guise of 'sustainability' — and more tales of Wall Street greenwashing

Fourteen months ago, Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, wrote a letter warning that climate change was on the verge of "fundamentally reshaping" the financial sector. The crux of his message was that the finance sector would have an effect on preventing climate change, if only it changed who and what it invested in.

His words proved somewhat prophetic. Last month, Wells Fargo rounded out the list of Wall Street giants that have since committed to align their business model with the Paris Agreement, an international environmental accord.

This should please everyone concerned about climate change. Yet there is a danger that the financial sector now gets credit for acting on climate, when, in fact, it hasn't even begun to do what is necessary.

Yes, nearly all of the country's biggest banks have now committed to achieve "net-zero" climate emissions by 2050. But, at the same time, those same banks are continuing to loan trillions to the companies most responsible for causing climate change. As a major new report shows, since the Paris Agreement was signed in late 2015, JPMorgan Chase alone has loaned more than $317 billion to fossil fuel corporations. Even by the standards of oil companies, that is a lot of money; indeed, it's more than the market capitalization of Chevron and BP combined.

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