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ClientEarth Communications

14th March 2024

News

We’re working to hold major banks accountable for funding fossil fuel expanders like Aramco

The world’s largest oil and gas company - Saudi Aramco - is pulling together the support of major banks to initiate a share sale intended to reportedly raise $20 billion. While reports say the sale would help wean Saudi Arabia’s economy off reliance on oil exports, Saudi Aramco still holds the title of world’s largest oil producer and has plans to significantly increase its production of petrochemicals (aka plastics) made from oil and methane gas.

Last year, the United Nations issued an unprecedented warning to Saudi Aramco  that it may be in violation of international human rights law over its contribution to climate change. The warning came after we filed a legal complaint in 2021 accusing Saudi Aramco of committing the largest ever climate-related breach of human rights law by a business.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of holding Saudi Aramco accountable. It is the world’s single biggest corporate emitter of greenhouse gasses. The warnings set a new legal standard for fossil fuel companies’ human rights responsibilities for the climate crisis.

The UN also warned the oil giant’s financial backers – including major American banks such as Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs – about their own roles in driving climate-fueled human rights violations too. However, they have not publicly acknowledged or addressed the climate-related human rights impacts linked to their financing of Saudi Aramco.

To address its human rights impacts, Aramco needs a transition plan that aligns with the Paris Agreement. It must significantly cut its oil and gas production with a view to halving its emissions by 2030. It must make way for renewable energy and look to the opportunities of a transition away from polluting fossil fuels, rather than greenwashing to obstruct and delay a rapid and fair transition.

ClientEarth is now working to hold major banks accountable for funding fossil fuel expanders like Aramco, letting them know that funding fossil fuel expansion, of any form, risks violating human rights.

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