According to a report in July by Toxic Bonds, a global group of civil society organisations, three US banks, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Bank of America led the way in terms of underwriting fees for bonds for fossil fuels from 2016 to 2022. They were followed by British bank Barclays in fourth place.
“The bond market, where companies can borrow money from investors by selling debt assets, has become a safe haven for the fossil fuel industry,” Toxic Bonds says. Goldman Sachs, HSBC and BNP Paribas also made the top 10, but there was no African bank in the top 20.
That makes it much easier for South African banks to justify finance for fossil fuels, despite the fact that global warming is faster in Africa than the global average. Fossil-fuel finance standards released by South African bank Absa in May leave it trailing behind domestic competitors, according to analysis from shareholder
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