New Insta Templates for Impaakt 2021 03 17 T102030 856 png

"Goldman Sachs financed fossil fuel industry with $83.7bn since 2016, the major sector causing rising sea levels."

The Impaakt Team

8 min Read Time | March 19th 2021

The W.O.W. Award

Welcome to the Impact Blog and welcome to this week's winner of the 'WOW' award.
Each week our reviewing team scour the platform for the best work and come together to vote on one winner! It's our way of rewarding our talented community of writers.

If you'd like to know more about becoming a writer for Impaakt, head over to our Certification page or learn more about our rewards scheme here.

Read on the find out more about the winner this week:

“GS financed fossil fuel industry with $83.7bn since 2016, the major sector causing rising sea levels.”

New Insta Templates for Impaakt 2021 03 17 T102030 856 png

Written by: Jennifer Tapia Boada

Company: Goldman Sachs
SDG 13: Climate Action

Feedback from the reviewing team:

"Unfortunately the winner of the WOW this week is another example of how we continue to see the financial industry fund fossil fuels and thus contribute to a sector whose impact on the planet is worrying to say the least. A great article on a topic that needs urgent attention and transformation."

Read the full impact analysis below and ensure you log-in or sign-up to make your ratings about the impact the topic in this analysis has on the environment and society.

Since 1850, the global temperature rose ≈1.1℃1. Along with the rising rate of CO2 emissions, the sea level has risen about 21–24 cm since 1880, increasing coastal flood risk2. In 2019, global CO2 emissions reached 36.42bn tonnes1,90% from fossil fuels3;p8. The same year, the global sea level was 87.6 mm above the 1993 average, the highest so far2. Projections on fossil fuel production may lead to the emission of 39bn t-CO2 by 20303;p14. Consequently, the world needs to stop financing fossil fuel extraction, in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement4, but bank-funding for fossil fuels rose from USD639bn in 2016 to $735bn in 2019: by $96bn5;p9. At current rates, fossil financing will hit $1 trillion per year by 20305;p10.

Goldman Sachs (GS) is among 35 banks that financed 2,100 fossil fuels companies with $2.7 trillion in the four years after the Paris Agreement5;p4. GS ranks 14/35, pouring $83.7bn since 20165;p8. The 35 banks were scored for their fossil fuel policies; the best scores are led by European banks. GS is only in 12th place, yet it is the leading US bank5;p18.

On Dec. 2019, GS revised its Environmental Policy (EPF) and decided to stop financing new oil exploration in the Arctic6;p12, new thermal coal mines6;p11, and to put conditions to funding coal-fired power plants6;p10, being the first US bank to adopt such decisions7. However, the revised EPF does not end the financing of fracking7. Albeit not yet a leader among global banks, its EPF is deemed the strongest among the big six US. Banks8;p1.

A 2020 report found banks have financed the US fracking industry with $224bn since 2016, despite its climate impacts9;p4. GS is 6th among the top 15 banks, pouring $11.6bn, 5.2% of the total fracking financing9;p7.

Having financed fossil fuels with $83.7bn in 4 years, Goldman Sachs is largely contributing to rising sea levels through fossil fuels' emissions. Goldman Sachs needs to strengthen its fossil fuel policy and further restrict fracking projects.


Make sure you sign-in or sign-up and make your ratings about the impact described on the planet and society.


Based on the article you've just read, here are some more we think you'd be interested in.

Invest In Our Planet Logo Blue Background

12 Min read

"Invest in our Planet." What does this year's Earth Day theme mean?

We explore what the "Invest in our Planet" theme for Earth Day really means for us and the world.

Cliamte change protest

15 Min read

10 things you need to know about COP26 and why finance plays a pivotal role.

What is COP26? Why is it so important? What are the goals? Learn all about it in our bitesize guide to COP26.

WOW Graphics Impaakt Social Media 12

9 Min read

Orsted provided renewable energy to around 18 million customers in 2020

Weekly Outstanding Impact Analysis 10th September

New Insta Templates for Impaakt 2021 04 14 T113000 921

10 Min read

Despite corporate policies, Santander made available €3.59bn in the weapons industry since 2015.

Weekly Outstanding Impact Analysis 16th April

Novatek Impact Analysis

10 Min read

Climate Change: Polluting Arctic shipping was 65% made up by Novatek’s fossil fuel cargo in 2019.

Weekly Outstanding Impact Analysis 20th November

Impact Analysis of the Week

10 Min read

PNC Financials ranked among the top 3 worst offenders in the US for financing fossil fuel.

Weekly Outstanding Impact Analysis 16th October

What is sustainable investment blog

15 Min read

What is sustainable investment?

Exploring the latest buzzword in investing.

World Green Background Sustainability small

Let’s take action together

With the right investment companies having a positive impact on the planet are able to flourish. Our community forms part of that mission by measuring their impact.

Join Us