One Belgian company is also on the list: Eni Finance International raised 2 billion euros in a few years. — © image images/Manfred Segerer
Despite the climate ambitions to completely phase out carbon emissions by 2050, fossil companies continue to finance themselves massively on the bond markets with the cooperation of banks.
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After the Paris climate agreement of December 2015, more than 300 of the most stubborn fossil companies raised more than 1,000 billion euros, helped by more than 400 banks. De Tijd wrote this on Tuesday based on research by the Dutch news collectives Investico and Follow the Money and other European media, including The Guardian, Le Monde, Handelsblatt and De Tijd.
Fossil companies continue to invest in new oil pipelines and platforms, shale gas projects and even coal mines. To finance these activities, they increasingly rely on the less transparent bond markets. No fewer than 307 of those stubborn fossil companies have added 1,011 billion euros in this way since 2016. Of these, 94 bond issues, worth almost 100 billion euros, even have a final maturity after 2050.
The companies were supported in the issuance by hundreds of banks, financial service providers and law firms, which are equally committed to being carbon neutral by 2050, it appears.
The companies that raised the most money over the past 7.5 years are headquartered in emerging countries. This concerns the Mexican Pemex, the Brazilian Petrobras and the Russian Rosneft. British giants Shell and BP complete the top five. These are all players that appear on the list of the most polluting companies in the world. One Belgian company is also on the list of 307 companies: Eni Finance International. The Belgian subsidiary of the Italian oil company Eni raised 2 billion euros between 2017 and 2020 through four Belgian bonds.
The three banks most often involved in these bond issues are American: JPMorgan Chase, Citi and Bank of America. The three most important European banks are Deutsche Bank, the British HSBC and the French Crédit Agricole. BNP Paribas, in which the Belgian state is a shareholder, also appears in the top ten.