Bank of America: funding fossil fuel expansion during time of climate crisis is a violation of human rights

Shocking new report details the human rights impact of the banking giant’s fossil fuel funding 

San Francisco, CA – Fossil fuel finance is always a dirty business, and a new report on Bank of America exposes the human rights impacts of this financing. The report – Complicit: Bank of America’s Role in Fossil Fuel Expansion and the Violation of Human Rightswas released today by Rainforest Action Network. Key analysis includes BofA’s financing for some of the worst companies developing fossil fuel expansion projects, which, by definition, infringes on human rights. Financial institutions that finance fossil fuels contribute to irreversible climate change-driven suffering and loss.

Bank of America has a stated commitment and responsibility to protect human rights and the rights of Indigenous Peoples. However, its policies to protect these rights are flawed and siloed away from its inadequate climate policies. This leads to loopholes that allow it to finance $10.5 billion in lending and underwriting that overshoots its own climate commitments by the equivalent 25 billion barrels of oil. Every barrel of oil contributes to a worsening climate crisis, and each degree of global warming will result in the suffering of millions around the globe.

Key findings include:

  • Bank of America’s billions of financing for fossil fuel expansion will contribute to the overshoot of reputable 1.5˚ C-aligned scenarios by 25 billion barrels of oil equivalent
  • $5.5 million of funding for companies that leave uncapped wells in Texas, costing taxpayers $300 million
  • $210 million funding of companies violating Indigenous rights in the Amazon
  • $184 million of funding for companies extracting in the Arctic
  • Funding for environmentally racist projects, such as methane gas export facilities on the US Gulf coast, pipelines over unceded Indigenous lands, and for colonialist companies in the Amazon biome
  • At least $6.153 billion to fracking and liquefied methane gas import/export companies. According to the IEA, a full abatement of methane could prolong the lives of 1 million people and prevent 2.8 million visits to hospitals for asthma, and generate $266 billion in economic gains
  • The MVP pipeline, Line 3 and 5, Coastal Gaslink, the Rio Bravo pipeline and many more pipelines are funded by Bank of America to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars 
  • An analysis of key deficiencies in climate, human rights and Indigenous rights policies

“Bank of America must recognize and address the human rights impacts of its financing of fossil fuel expansion at scale in a time of climate crisis” said Ernesto Archila, Banks Strategist for Rainforest Action Network. “The bank must take urgent steps to end its complicity in human rights violations and both integrate and close the serious loopholes in its climate and human rights policies.”