Paris (AFP)

Banks, insurers and pension funds present in Davos still finance with billions of dollars fossil fuels which contribute to global warming, at the risk of favoring a new world financial crisis, denounces Tuesday Greenpeace.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), which begins Tuesday, seeks to erase its image of "club of the rich" by inviting activists like the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, but number of companies of the financial sector regularly present in Davos invest tirelessly in the extractive industries, while fossil fuels - coal or oil in particular - are among the main emitters of greenhouse gases, accuses the NGO.

In a report entitled "It's the financial sector, fool", Greenpeace points to their investments since the signing in December 2015 of the Paris agreement to limit global warming.

According to the NGO, ten banks regularly present at the WEF alone funded between 2015 and 2018 the fossil fuel sector with 1,000 billion dollars: JP Morgan Chase, Citi, Bank of America, RBC Royal Bank, Barclays, Mitsubishi UFG, TD Bank, Scotiabank, Mizuho and Morgan Stanley.

This sum is roughly equivalent to the market capitalization of a digital giant like Apple, or to the financial risk linked to the climatic impacts weighing on 215 of the biggest world companies during the next five years, according to the NGO, which is based on the compilation of already public documents.

On the pension fund side, three of those present in Davos last year - that of teachers in the Canadian province of Ontario, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and PensionDanmark - hold $ 26 billion in the oil companies Shell, Chevron or Exxon, and in various banks financing the exploitation of fossil fuels. This is roughly equivalent to the Saudi oil giant Aramco's IPO last year, the largest ever.

Greenpeace finally denounces the support of major world insurers for projects, in particular coal, which could not be done without their guarantee, pointing in particular to AIG, Prudential, Sompo, Tokio Marine or Lloyds.

According to the NGO, these companies thus reproduce the behaviors which led to the great crisis of 2007/2008 in particular related to subprimes, when "the financial actors seeking short-term profit have not grasped or have ignored the risks".

"Insurance banks and pension funds in Davos are responsible for the climate emergency. Despite the warnings, they are fueling a new global financial crisis by supporting the fossil fuel industry. These financiers are nothing short of hypocritical saying that "They want to save the planet while they kill it for a short term profit", denounced the owner of Greenpeace, Jennifer Morgan, by calling "the regulators to do their work before it is too late".

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