The banking system has always been against virtual currencies like bitcoin, and they repeatedly use it to raise concerns about mining activities harming the environment. Still, according to the latest report presented by Greenpeace and WFF, it is found that banks themselves have contributed to a majority of climate chaos. Mining activities may prove to consume more energy, but it is not even close to the destruction caused by these Big Banks.
Some of the biggest banks in the world have been continuously giving out loans to companies that exploit fossil fuels for their own benefits. In 2019, the total gas emissions in the form of CO2 were 805m, and British banks exercise a huge portion of this load. Experts believe they release more than 455 metric loads of CO2 in one single year. While this was happening in the background, these banks also came forward to support environmental change, as they were a part of the 20 most contaminating nations.
It’s not only for companies that heavily invest in fossil fuels but also those involved in the plastics supply chain. From a research network, we can see that banks financed nearly 40 companies that amounted to more than $1.7 trillion. Some of the big names lending huge amounts of money to manufacturers in the plastic supply chain are Bank of America Corp, Citigroup, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Each bank is extending more than $100 billion to these companies between Jan 15 and Sep 2019. This has now put the banks under immense pressure to implement due diligence systems and hold the companies accountable when they do not meet the environmental conditions. The problem may not go away anytime soon, but if banks integrate global plastic pollution guidelines into their loans, we may start to see a difference.
The non-profit organization, portfolio.earth, has released a report that details how the banks are not taking responsibility for the wrongdoings. The report also mentions the total amount financed to these companies since the Paris Agreement. The exploitation of fossil fuels nearly cost $3.8 trillion for these banks.
Bitcoin or Bank- which is more dangerous now?
Every bitcoiner in the world is concerned about its high electricity consumption, but they also are aware of the solution- hydro-based resources for mining. Suppose the majority of bitcoin miners shift to hydropower. In that case, the energy consumption can drop significantly, but in the case of banks, the damage has already been done, and there is no going back now.
If banks continue to load billions of dollars to companies exploiting fossil fuels, it will not be possible to monitor and control each one. On the other hand, bitcoin enthusiasts like Elon Musk and Michael Saylor are putting efforts to form a mining council that is strictly for promoting cheap renewable resources.
Even though Elon Musk’s recent comments indicate his company will not be accepting bitcoin, he is still a believer in bitcoin, so we can have some more initiatives coming from such visionaries all around the world to accelerate green bitcoin mining. That will never be the case with banks without instituting major changes to their programs and loan models.
Born and brought up in India, Karthikeya Gutta is a crypto journalist and freelance contributor for ItsBlockchain. He covers various aspects of the industry with in-depth analysis and research. His passion towards blockchain and crypto ecosystem is mainly because he believes it can really change the world and help millions of people.
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