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Banks Flow Billions to Companies Involved in Rainforest Destruction

At least $22.5 billion in loans, debt and equity underwriting services has been arranged for companies operating in Indonesia, the Congo Basin and the Amazon, according to the Rainforest Action Network.

Mist hangs over the Amazon, between the cities of Rio Branco and Senador Guiomard, Brazil.

Mist hangs over the Amazon, between the cities of Rio Branco and Senador Guiomard, Brazil.

Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

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Banks are often criticized for the financing they provide to fossil-fuel companies. But it doesn't stop there. There's also the funding they offer to companies that are damaging the world's rainforests and indigenous communities.

Since the Paris climate agreement was announced at the end of 2015, seven banks arranged at least $22.5 billion via loans and debt and equity underwriting services for companies operating in the largest tropical regions of Indonesia, the Congo Basin and the Amazon, the latest data from Rainforest Action Network show.