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Banks Produce 700 Times More Emissions From Loans Than Offices

  • Industry faces pressure to pare back lending to oil companies
  • The sector is ‘critical’ to achieving net-zero carbon future
London's Best Offices Face 15% Plunge In Values From Virus Hit
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

It’s through their loan books and investment portfolios that banks and asset managers make their biggest contribution to climate change.

The greenhouse gas emissions associated with financial institutions’ investing, lending and underwriting activities are more than 700 times higher, on average, than their direct emissions, according to a report published Wednesday by climate nonprofit CDP. While banks generate emissions from heating their buildings and flying executives to meetings -- when pandemic restrictions allow -- “almost all climate-related impacts and risks of global financial institutions come from financing the wider economy,” CDP said in a statement.