Big Banks Finance Renewables, But Still Also Coal

Burning coal to make electricity is the largest source of carbon emissons in the US and we’re the 2nd largest coal producer in the world.

In the latest edition of "Dirty Money," which rates the largest US banks on financing coal generation (mountaintop removal coal mining and coal-fired power generation), almost all get D’s, and no bank gets better than a C-.

And that’s despite their strong climate change policies. Actions speak louder than words.

Wells Fargo recently announced it would finance $30 billion in renewable energy projects through 2020 after spending $2.7 billion since 2006. It also has the strongest policy against financing mountaintop removal coal mining.

Over the past two years, although Wells Fargo said it would "disassociate" from mountaintop removal mining, it brokered 26 transactions in the coal sector, increasing its exposure to the sector 35% in the last year. Bank of America financed twice that.

The same is true for the other big banks – they have and are investing heavily in renewable energy – which is crucial for the industry – but at the same time they continue to prop up coal. 

The Filthy Five

1. Bank of America
2. JPMorgan Chase
3. Citi
4. Morgan Stanley
5. Wells Fargo

Dirty Money is produced by Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club and BankTrack. Read the report:

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