Impact Analysis of the Week

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

Faye Turner

8 min Read Time | October 17th 2020

Best impact analysis

The banking industry and fossil fuels - read on to learn more about PNC and their funding of fossil fuels

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Without further ado, here is this week's winner.

Impact Analysis of the Week

"PNC Financials ranked among the top 3 worst offenders in the US for financing fossil fuel companies”

Written by
: Kanak Gupta
Company: PNC Financial Services
SDG 13
: Climate Action

Feedback from the reviewing team:

"The writer here chose a very core topic to the impact of this business on the planet, one with wide-reaching and long-lasting impact, it was covered with great clarity and solid research."

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“PNC Financials ranked among the top 3 worst offenders in the US for financing fossil fuel companies”

Coal Fossil Fuels Impact Analysis

From 2016 to 2019, about $2.66 trillion were invested into the fossil fuel projects by the top 35 private banks globally1. The funding increased by 40% between 2018-19 in the companies that rigorously plan to initiate new coal, oil, and gas extraction projects, and infrastructure2. The energy production in the U.S. emitted 5,131 million metric tonnes (MMmt) of CO2e in 2019, out of which 32% (1,619 MMmt) came from electricity production3. This electricity itself was mostly made from coal (60% or 973 MMmt), followed by natural gas (38% or 619 MMmt)3.

PNC Financial Services is ranked 7th in the list of largest banks in the US by assets4 with a market cap of $44.53 billion (as of 28th September 2020)5. The bank has been ranked amongst the top 3 worst culprits in the U.S. for financing fossil fuel companies6.

In 2015, PNC declared that it is moving out of coal and would no longer fund new coal-fired power plants7. Despite that, between 2014 and 2017, PNC invested a total amount of $496 million in fossil fuels7. The bank underwrote bond issuances worth $198 million and provided a $298 million loan to AES Corporation (one of the largest independent producers of electrical power globally, with an ownership stake in 14 power-generating facilities in six U.S. states)7. Additionally, in 2018, the bank went on to re-financing the two oilfield services providers, Innovex Downhole Solutions, Inc. (Innovex), and FHE USA (FHE) with $84 million and $25 million, respectively8. PNC also holds 22.4% of shares in BlackRock (the biggest financier of fossil fuel companies globally)9. PNC claims to take action in sustainable financing even though they did not opt-out of new coal projects10;p13.

PNC Financial Services is failing in its commitments. The bank has violated the terms of the Paris agreement on the climate. Rather than greenwashing, PNC must review its funding portfolio and act in allegiance to the regulations.

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