Arctic Oil is booming despite strong opposition

There is great interest in drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic, and not just from Russian companies, despite the political rush to transform global energy systems and phase out fossil fuels.

A new report from Reclaim Finance, an organization that seeks to build a financial sector that will support the energy transition, found that oil and gas companies plan to increase their production in the Arctic by 20% over the next five years.

“These Arctic ‘expansionists’ – such as Gazprom, Total and ConocoPhillips – have been revealed to have been backed by hundreds of billions of dollars in support from banks and investors, despite numerous pledges. taken to restrict fossil funding in the region, ”he added. the authors of the report wrote.

The association said it had uncovered some $ 314 billion in funding for new Arctic oil and gas drilling spread between 2016 and 2020, all from major banks and asset managers, most of which have already made commitments. net zero.

Among arctic oil and gas lenders, Reclaim Finance listed JP Morgan, who the report said provided $ 18.6 billion in funding for arctic oil and gas, as well as Barclays , with $ 13.2 billion, and Citigroup, with $ 12.2 billion in funding for the oil and gas industry in its efforts in the Arctic.

Private equity giants were also on the list with their holdings in the industry. The group was led by BlackRock, which owns $ 28.5 billion in companies with oil and gas activities in the Arctic. BlackRock, whose CEO Larry Fink recently said that a net zero world is “the shared responsibility of every citizen, business and government,” was followed by Vanguard, which has some $ 21.6 billion in driller exposure. of oil and gas in the Arctic, and Amundi, with $ 12.9 billion in oil and gas stakes in companies operating in the Arctic.

“The Arctic is a climate bomb, and our research shows that the oil and gas industry is determined to unleash it, thereby increasing our chances of avoiding climate degradation,” said report author Alix Mazounie.

“But they’re not the only culprits: Financial institutions have funded these companies, mocking their own climate commitments. Since the oil and gas tigers will not change stripes, groups like BNP Paribas, BlackRock and JPMorganChase must heed the instructions from the International Energy Agency and turn off the taps.

By Irina Slav for Oil Octobers

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