Apr 27, 2021 - Economy & Business

Citigroup declined 11 coal transactions last year

Illustration of someone inserting a dollar into Earth.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Banking giant Citigroup said that last year it declined 11 "transaction opportunities" around coal mining or coal-fired power as a result of recently launched climate policies.

Why it matters: The tally, part of a wider ESG report released Monday, provides a rare glimpse at specific business fallout of Wall Street giants' growing restrictions on certain types of fossil finance.

Of note: Bloomberg has more on the report here.

Catch up fast: A number of banking giants like JPMorgan Chase and Citi are boosting finance for clean technology sectors in addition to their fossil restrictions.

  • Citi's report comes on the heels of its pledge this month to steer $1 trillion toward "sustainable finance" by 2030, with half for various "climate solutions."

What they're saying: One climate activist who tracks banking tells me that the level of detail in Citi's report on its coal financing rejections is uncommon.

  • "This sort of specificity and transparency is rare and refreshing," Beau O'Sullivan of the Bank on our Future network tells me via email.
  • We're used to banks boasting about the green business they're financing, but that's exactly what banks do — finance profitable and growing sectors. Real climate leadership in the banking sector means turning down business," he said.

But, but, but: Activists are pushing banks to phase out fossil-related lending more broadly, including the oil-and-gas sector.

  • "We need to see Citi, the world's second biggest financier of fossil fuels, ending relationships on a corporate level with companies that are expanding fossil fuel business," O'Sullivan said.

Go deeper: Climate spotlight moves to Wall Street and its overseers

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