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Our planet is now at the mercy of the world’s biggest banks!3 min read

November 6, 2020 2 min read

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Our planet is now at the mercy of the world’s biggest banks!3 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Did you ever think that banks could destroy our planet? Well, they are not going out there with rifles and shooting down wildlife or using their own axes to chop down trees. They’re just doing what they’re meant to do, which is giving people money. But……. who exactly are they choosing to give their money to?

Portfolio Earth, an independent think tank that monitors the financial sector and its connection to the environment, recently released an alarming report about who our banks are spending their money on. It found that major banks around the world ended up financing organisations whose activities caused environmental destruction to the tune of $2.6 trillion just in 2019!

Trillion? That sounds like a lot of money!

Well, yes it is.

Think about it this way 10 lakhs makes a million.
10 millions make a crore.
100 crores make a billion.
And 1,000 billions make a trillion.

Did that confuse you even more? Well, maybe this will help.

There are 3.6 crore people in Canada. The income of all of these people, jointly, is less than the money the finance industry has handed out for activities leading to environmental destruction!

Think with Owliver:
What are the kinds of companies do you think contribute to environmental degradation?
Find the answer below.

So, how did it actually happen? Why do banks finance such companies?

Well, no bank really wants to kill the planet. They have just not been responsible about who they finance, or lend money to.

One of the reasons for this is that environmental laws are not comprehensive enough, especially in terms of the financial sector! So, it’s very difficult to know exactly how much destruction a bank causes when they lend money to a company.
Normally, the sectors that contribute the most to environmental degradation,  food, forestry, mining, fossil fuels, infrastructure, tourism, and transport. All these sectors need a lot of money to run, and hence have a tight relationship with their banks! (Great job on finding the answer!)

Environment is a joint responsibility that is not reserved for the likes of green activists and school children in EVS classrooms. Every action of every individual leaves an impact, a footprint made of Carbon, on the world, like a ripple in the ocean.

Therefore, the finance sector’s oblique role in the destruction of the environment is not far from a direct one.

Think with Owliver:

Do you think you know our planet well enough? Well, test your mettle with these mind-bending riddles!