A stacker/reclaimer places coal in stockpiles after processing at Rio Tinto's Blair Athol Mine in Queensland...A stacker/reclaimer places coal in stockpiles after processing at Rio Tinto's Blair Athol Mine in Queensland in this undated handout photograph obtained July 15, 2009. Mining giants BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto could see massive cost savings if their Australian coal businesses merge, but strict competition laws in Europe could create obstacles, analysts said on July 15, 2009. REUTERS/Rio Tinto/Handout (AUSTRALIA BUSINESS) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS©Reuters

Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase have delivered billions of dollars in financing for coal, oil and gas companies that is “deeply at odds” with the goals of the Paris climate change accord, a new study claims.

The banks rank among the top North American and European private sector backers of coal mines, coal power plants and costly oil and gas ventures over the past three years, according to the report by environmental campaign groups, the US Sierra Club, the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack and Oil Change International.


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Deutsche Bank was the top financer of big coal miners, delivering nearly $7bn between 2013 and 2015, according to the study’s assessment of publicly available financial filings.

Citigroup was calculated to have supplied $24bn for large coal power plant operators, making it the largest supporter in this category.

JPMorgan Chase was ranked the largest financer of so-called “extreme oil”, financing an estimated $38bn for the biggest owners of untapped reserves in ultra-deep offshore fields, the Arctic or tar sands.

Dozens of other large banks named in the study have also “engaged in fossil fuel financing practices that are deeply at odds with the global climate agreement” that nearly 200 countries reached at the December COP21 meeting in Paris, the report says.

The Paris accord aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep global temperature rises well below 2C from pre-industrial times. Burning fossil fuels — coal, oil and gas — is one of the largest drivers of emissions.

Several banks publicly committed to reducing their support for some coal ventures before and after the Paris meeting.

Deutsche Bank said in March it would phase out credit and the underwriting of debt and equity for mining companies that use contentious mountaintop removal methods to extract coal.

JPMorgan Chase said in the same month it would stop directly financing new coal mines and coal power stations in wealthy countries.

These decisions were welcome, said a co-author of the study, Amanda Starbuck of the Rainforest Action Network.

But large banks had to do more to ensure the Paris accord’s goals were met, she said. “This report is saying ‘wake up, you need to look across the board here’.”

Some scientists say time is running out to address the problem.

A March study by Oxford university academics said in order to have a 50 per cent chance of holding warming to 2C, no new coal or gas power plants can be built after 2017, unless they are fitted with expensive equipment to capture emissions.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the report’s findings but said the group had changed its approach to coal financing and supported “a well-balanced energy mix that takes account of economic and environmental considerations”.

“In addition, we more than doubled our clean energy financing to €4.3bn between 2013 and 2015 and have over €7bn in assets under management in sustainable finance funds,” it said.

JPMorgan Chase said it could not comment on the environmental groups’ report before reviewing it.

But the bank pointed to its March coal financing decision and past company statements about the need for governments to implement “sensible policies” balancing the need to cut emissions with the importance of economic development.

Citigroup said it would “continue to actively support a transition to a low-carbon economy. Citi has made significant progress toward reducing our credit exposure to the coal mining sector since 2011, and those efforts will continue.

“Power generation in the US and globally is an industry in transition. Electricity produced from coal-fired plants has declined materially and we expect this to continue. We remain committed to working with our clients as they transition to a lower-carbon resource profile.”

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