Shying away from the International Energy Agency’s ‘Net Zero by 2050’ plan, which bars committed companies from operating new fossil fuel exploration projects this year, most banks have chosen to follow the less-onerous International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targets, which will allow financial institutions to continue financing oil and gas operations this year. This comes ahead of November’s COP26 talks, which will likely directly target the role of finance in climate change as governments discuss how best to achieve the Paris Climate Change Agreement drawn up in 2015. Under increasing scrutiny from the media, retail customers and governments, banks have been accused of ‘greenwashing’ as many have failed to live up to past promises made regarding decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. This comes as the UK and US experience dramatic increases in the price of natural gas, and Asia has seen a similar increase in the price of liquid gas. The FT’s Robert Armstrong notes that the unabating demand of fossil fuels from consumers will result in gas prices increasing, at least in the short term, and will ultimately be a limiting factor in global growth for the foreseeable future.
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