Citi is 2nd biggest funder of fossil fuels of any bank in the world. And now, a new report is exposing Citi as taking the #1 spot for fossil fuel expansion in Africa. Between January 2019 and July 2022 Citi poured $5.6 billion into the sector, awarding Citi yet another top spot for climate destruction.

The next biggest banker culprits are JPMorgan Chase at $5.1 billion and BNP Paribas at $4.6 billion. The report, Who is Financing Fossil Fuel Expansion in Africa?, has been released by Urgewald, Stop EACOP, Oilwatch Africa, Africa Coal Network and 33 further African NGOs.

Citi has been bankrolling the largest developer of new upstream oil and gas resources in Africa, TotalEnergies, to the tune of $691 million. The French energy company is exploring for oil and gas in 15 African countries. It’s even drilling for oil right beside wildlife sanctuaries, including whale nesting areas and a wildlife park in Uganda.

Citi’s biggest spend of $1.2 billion goes to Sasol, the seventh biggest coal mining company in the world. Sasol is one of the biggest CO2 emitters in South Africa and one of the key companies lobbying against a carbon tax.

Citi’s hypocrisy exposed

The report shows just how duplicitous Citi is when it comes to caring about the climate. Citi may say it wants to achieve Net-Zero by 2050 but by spending over $5 billion in fossil fuel expansion in Africa, the bank is showing the promise is completely meaningless.

The scariest thing is that the gas and oil fields being built now by Total (and other companies Citi are funding) are projected to continue operating for 20 and 30 years. That means decades more emissions warming the planet.

And just like in the days of early colonization, much of the spoils will be taken out of Africa. Over 97% of the new LNG infrastructure is being built for export, mainly to Europe and Asia.

The sad thing is Africa has 39%(!!) of the world’s total renewable potential. Yet foreign investors including banks are fixated on plundering the continent for fossil fuels.

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A bank used to the top spot

Citi’s being the biggest fossil fuel banker in Africa shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s the biggest coal funder outside of China; it has the biggest US bank presence in Russia; and is the biggest funder of state-run fossil fuel projects in the Amazon. Eurgh.

Citi is the number two US bank for financing oil and gas companies in the Arctic, for LNG companies and for offshore oil and gas funding. Its overall financing of fossil fuels is immense:  over $285 billion since 2016.

If Citi wants to be a real leader on climate change then it needs to start proving this. There can be no more top awards for being a bad bank.