Arctic oil and gas booming despite climate fears


Oil and gas companies are being funded by some of the biggest names in finance to harness the arctic’s vast natural resources, even as warnings mount about the melting ice cap due to man-made global warming.

Gazprom PJSC, ConocoPhillips and TotalEnergies SE are among energy companies expanding their expansion to fossil fuels in the region, with oil and gas production set to increase by 20% over the next five years, according to a report from Reclaim Finance. The banking sector is complicit, having provided more than $ 314 billion to these companies from 2016 to 2020, the climate watchdog said.

“The Arctic is a climate bomb, and our research shows that the oil and gas industry is determined to unleash it, thereby increasing our chances of avoiding climate degradation,” said Alix Mazounie, co-author of the report. “But they’re not the only culprits: Financial institutions have funded these companies, mocking their own climate commitments.”

The study exposes growing concern that financial institutions and energy companies often tout their green credentials, but can be found to be doing the opposite. The authors say that while two-thirds of the top 30 banks fueling arctic expansion have so-called arctic restriction policies, none exclude support for companies involved in the development of new oil and gas projects in the arctic. the region.

World leaders will meet at the end of next month for crucial climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, amid mounting pressure to act following a warning from the Intergovernmental Panel on the Evolution of the climate whereby the target of keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels would be exceeded unless more drastic measures were taken. Earlier this year, the International Energy Agency said avoiding a climate crisis means there can be no new deposits of oil, gas or coal.

In a separate report released Thursday, investors jointly managing $ 6.6 trillion are pressuring the financial sector to increase funding for carbon removal methods and normalize pollution credits. Up to 1.2 billion metric tonnes of greenhouse gases must be eliminated each year by 2025 to meet the targets set by the Paris Agreement.

There are currently 599 arctic oil and gas fields that are either in production, development or have been discovered, according to the report. European banks are responsible for a quarter of global underwriting and lending to large corporations, he added.

© 2021 Bloomberg LP


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