It seems Charlotte's Bank of America is on all of the wrong lists these days. First, the S&P drops the bank's credit rating and now an international coalition of civil society and environmental organizations lists the bank as one of the top three environmental killers.
Bank of America is turning into that dude you don't want to date — dirty with bad credit. CEO Brian Moynihan's week really must suck.
According to the study, which you can read in full at Banktrack.org, "coal financing as coal-fired power plants are the biggest source of man-made CO2 emissions and the major culprit in the drama of climate change."
Need proof the climate is changing? Think about that 70 degree Thanksgiving we just had.
More from the study:
The organizations examined the portfolios of 93 of the world's leading banks and looked into their support for 31 major coal-mining companies (representing 44% of global coal production) and 40 producers of coal-fired electricity (which together own over 50% of global coal-fired generation capacity). The total value of coal financing provided by these banks since 2005 (the year the Kyoto Protocol came into force) amounts to 232 billion Euro.
The study identifies the top twenty "climate killers" in the banking world. Among the top twenty are banks from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Switzerland, China, Italy and Japan. The top three banks fueling climate change worldwide are JP Morgan Chase (EUR 16,5 bio.), Citi (EUR 13,7 bio.) and Bank of America (EUR 12,6 bio.).
Coal-fired power plants are not cheap to build. Typically, a 600 Megawatt plant will cost around US$ 2 billion. Power producers therefore rely heavily on banks to provide and mobilize the necessary capital for coal plants. "Our figures clearly show that coal financing is on the rise," notes Tristen Taylor of Earthlife Africa Johannesburg. "Between 2005 and 2010, coal financing almost doubled. If we don't take Banks to task now, coal financing will continue to grow," he warns.
Wells Fargo is ranked 19 on the list.