Environmental campaign groups have accused many of the world’s largest banks of actively undermining the Paris agreement on climate change by pouring billions of dollars into coal plant developers.
Between January 2014 and September 2017 international banks channelled $630bn to the top 120 companies planning to build  new coal plants around the world, according to research by campaign groups including the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack and Friends of the Earth.
The researchers highlighted Beijing-based Industrial and Commercial Bank of China as the biggest underwriter for bond and share issues of coal plant developers, providing more than $33bn over that period.
The researchers also found that nine western banks increased their financing of coal plant developers in 2016: Citi, UBS, Barclays, Société Générale, BNP Paribas, ING, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered and Crédit Agricole.
The campaign groups said the figures were startling against the backdrop of the two-year anniversary of the Paris accord, where 195 countries agreed to fight global warming.