Stand.earth’s Climate Finance Program Responds to White House LNG pause
January 26, 2024
New York, NY / Unceded Manahatta, Munsee Lenape Territory – This week, the White House formally announced a pause on LNG gas export permit approvals, starting with the massive Venture Global LNG CP2 project.
Joining frontline communities in celebrating this win, Stand.earth is spotlighting financial institutions, including major banks like Citibank, Royal Bank of Canada and Scotiabank, bankrolling major gas projects.
Richard Brooks, Stand.earth Climate Finance Director, said:
“This decision by the White House affirms that building new gas export facilities is ill-advised, not financially or environmentally sustainable, and harmful to communities where these facilities are proposed. Fossil banks like Citi and RBC enabled this wild west expansion, and it’s good to see them reigned in. This is a signal for financial institutions that the end of the fossil fuel era is here. We need investments in renewables, not more polluting mega fossil fuel projects.”
Roishetta Ozane, Founder of The Vessel Project of Louisiana, and Fossil Finance Coordinator with Texas Campaign for the Environment, added:
“So many have been fighting so hard to get to this moment, and I am just so excited that we get to witness it. What this means is that, for once, the United States government is listening to people who are impacted by their decisions. Now, they will take a deeper look at the public interest determination to see how these industries are impacting our communities. But, this is not a win-all, be-all. Until we can halt these permits and get them to stop being approved permanently, until we can kick polluters out of our communities, the fight must continue. We will still be in D.C. in front of the Department of Energy, February 6 through 8, and we will continue to demand a change.”
This pause, which affects up to 12 projects in the US, will be a massive shakeup for major gas financing banks such as RBC, Scotiabank and Citi who were likely anticipating major fees from 2024 financing deals.
RBC and Scotiabank have financed more than $USD 3.9 billion of loans to Venture Global since 2019. Citi has done more than $8.67 billion worth of deals in the LNG sector since 2016 including partaking in a joint $1 billion bond to Venture Global Calcasieu in 2023.
This will have a ripple effect across the LNG and banking industry, as noted in Reuters: “Any moratorium on LNG export approvals could delay investment decisions by companies proposing new facilities.”