Good news for the Arctic, and the entire planet, as Deutsche Bank announced that they were ending financing fossil fuel projects at the tar sands in Alberta, and projects of fossil fuel extraction in the Arctic.
Burning the filthy dirty tar sands for energy is far worse than crude oil. The difficulty in exploiting these resources requires enormous amounts of energy so the impact on the atmosphere is large.
Due to climate change, the Arctic is now ripe for fossil fuel industries to suck dry. This action has enraged “take the oil” Trump as he lashes out in fury at multiple banks that have already refused to finance the destruction of the Arctic (see below the fold) Deutsche Bank is the latest investment firm to do so.
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) July 27, 2020
Deutsche Bank unveiled an updated Fossil Fuels Policy to set new limits on financing business activities that involve oil, gas, or coal, and pledged to end its global business activities in coal mining by 2025 at the latest “in order to help drive the transformation to a sustainable economy.”
“In its current form, the Policy sets us ambitious targets and enables us to help our long-standing clients with their own transformation. It will allow us to play our part in protecting the climate and helping the EU to achieve its goal of being climate neutral by 2050,” CEO Christian Sewing, who also chairs Deutsche Bank’s Sustainability Council, said.
Last year, Deutsche Bank and 129 other banks – representing a third of the world’s banks, worth a total of US$47 trillion in assets, committed to align ing their business to the Paris Climate Agreement, in the biggest pledge to climate sustainability from the banking sector yet.
Many banks, especially in Europe, have faced in recent years increased public and activist pressure to stop funding fossil fuel projects. Some of them have said they would stop providing project-specific financing for coal-fired power plants or exploration and production of oil sands and oil in the Arctic.
Not good enough. We have an uphill battle ahead.
@DeutscheBankAG 's new policies are much-needed movement, but too little and too late. As long as companies like @RWE_AG, @Glencore, @exxonmobil or @uniper_energy can stay in the bank's portfolio, the policies are just not good enough. https://t.co/6Tp7EvOQnw #KeepItInTheGround pic.twitter.com/hRUiDtZUN0
— urgewald (@urgewald) July 27, 2020
Trump has sicced the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) to investigate the banks’ actions.
“Oil is the most actively traded commodity in the world,” Brian Brooks, acting comptroller of the currency at the Treasury Department, wrote to Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). “Given the industry’s importance and ubiquity in our daily lives, I am skeptical of claims that the sector poses a ‘reputational risk’ to the banks that serve it.”The Trump administration is pushing back against banks that have announced they won’t finance oil drilling operations in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), arguing that banks must provide “fair access to all legal businesses.”
“Oil is the most actively traded commodity in the world,” Brian Brooks, acting comptroller of the currency at the Treasury Department, wrote to Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). “Given the industry’s importance and ubiquity in our daily lives, I am skeptical of claims that the sector poses a ‘reputational risk’ to the banks that serve it.”
The Alaska delegation has sought the administration’s help as a growing number of banks have announced they won’t offer financing for activity in the sensitive area of north Alaska that hugs the border with Canada.
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have all pledged not to finance any drilling in ANWR.
The financing ban does not include current projects.