UK financial sector responsible for nearly double the UK's annual carbon emissions

Campaigners are calling for legislation to force UK financial institutions to reduce the emissions they finance in line with goals to limit global temperature rises agreed by countries under the international Paris climate accord. The call from Greenpeace and WWF comes after their analysis, published in May 2021, found that major UK banks and asset managers are responsible for 805 million tonnes of emissions linked to loans and investments in sectors including energy, IT and industry, as well as mortgages. That is almost 1.8 times the UK’s emissions for 2019, of 455 million tonnes of greenhouse gases, and if the financial sector was a country it would have the 9th largest emissions in the world, a report for the green groups said.

Since countries including the UK signed up to the 1.5C goal in the Paris Agreement in 2015, the world’s 60 largest banks have provided £2.7 trillion to the fossil fuel industry.

Read the full report here.