Barclays and JP Morgan asked to stop funding Rosebank oil field

Over 60 organisations have written to Barclays, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas warning them not to fund the Equinor’s controversial Rosebank oil field expansion due to climate risks.

In a letter to Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company Equinor’s financiers, campaigners point out that banks funding the Rosebank oil field in the North Sea would be breaching their  commitment to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

The letter was convened by BankTrack and Uplift and was signed by over 60 organisations, including Action Aid, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace.

“The Rosebank field would be a dangerous step towards overshooting 1.5°C of global warming, and by financing Equinor, these banks share responsibility,” said Banktrack banks and climate campaign lead Maaike Beenes.

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The letter outlines how, due to Rosebank, banks’ financial relationship with Equinor risks being incompatible with their own climate commitments and exposing them to significant reputational, legal, financial and other risks.

The letter also calls on the banks not to finance the project directly and instead to engage with Equinor asking it to cease development.

All 20 banks are members of the Net Zero Banking Alliance, which commits them to align their financing with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

From 2016 – 2022, these 20 banks provided over £12 billion in financing to Equinor via lending and underwriting. Santander, Barclays, JP Morgan and BNP Paribas alone have given over £4 billion.

“Any bank that is genuinely committed to a safe climate must engage with Equinor and cut ties with the company if it continues to develop the field. Any bank that is genuinely committed to a safe climate must engage with Equinor and cut ties with the company if it continues to develop the field,” added Beenes.

MP Caroline Lucas has also expressed her concerns over Rosebank .

Writing in Business Green, she said: “As a reminder, Rosebank isn’t just any old – or new – oil field. It is the biggest undeveloped oil field in the North Sea, coming in at nearly 500 million barrels.

“If burned, its contents would produce over 200 million tonnes of CO2. That is more than the combined annual CO2 emissions of all 28 low-income countries in the world, which together are home to 700 million people.”

She also highlighted that the expansion “won’t deliver long-term job security.”

“Equinor claims Rosebank will create 1,600 jobs, but the real number is less than a third of this, with the rest being short-term, temporary jobs during construction,” she added.

The UK government is expected to make a decision on Rosebank imminently.

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