Green bonds and loans from the worldwide banking sector have exceeded the value of fossil financing so far this year for the first time since records began.
Bloomberg data, covering close to 140 financial-service institutions around the world, showed that at least $203bn in bonds and loans have gone to renewable projects and other climate-friendly ventures through to May 14, against $189bn awarded to hydrocarbon players.
Data ranking banks’ fossil fuel financing gives a good window into possible global patterns of fossil fuel production as well as highlighting areas that are shifting to renewables.
With recent net-zero pledges from major economic powers in Asia, and the election of US president Joe Biden, American banks have agreed to facilitate at least $4trn of sustainable and climate-friendly deals over the next decade.
The ongoing global energy transition will require massive investments. Analysts at S&P Global cite estimates of $3trn in annual spending.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) emphasised this week that all funding for new oil, gas and coal supply projects must stop today if the world is to reach net zero emissions by mid-century.
IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol said the needed net-zero transition over the coming generation is “perhaps the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced”.
The IEA report has made massive ripples across the shipping industry.
Kelly Trout, interim energy transitions and futures program director at campaign group Oil Change International, commented: “Governments, banks and big oil and gas companies can no longer use the IEA as a shield to claim that their support for fossil fuel expansion is consistent with the Paris Agreement. This report should herald the end of any excuses for continued fossil fuel expansion.”