A report by NGO think tank Planet Tracker has warned that investors are not sufficiently accounting for the “highly toxic” impact of petrochemicals on human health. More than 7,400 financial institutions are playing a “significant role” by funding the production of petrochemicals, which include plastics, dyes, detergents and synthetic rubber, the report noted. It is “imperative” for investors to pressure petrochemical facilities to reduce their toxic footprints, Planet Tracker said. The report drew on data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and analysed the effects of these pollutants, identified the facilities responsible for their emissions and named some of the financial institutions supporting the industry. The report said that 1.3 million US workers are at risk of fatal poisoning from asbestos alone. John Willis, Planet Tracker’s Director of Research, said: “As an absolute minimum, investors have a duty to be cognisant of the risks of toxic pollutants to local communities and the wider environment. […] They should be pivoting their portfolios away from the damaging impacts of the petrochemical facilities they fund, by pressuring companies to enact change”.
📝Our latest report – Toxic Footprints – exposes the biggest financial backers behind #petrochemical toxicity in the US Gulf States, setting clear targets for investors to combat the unfolding health crisis ➡️ https://t.co/iK4wPcQLRw #plasticpollution pic.twitter.com/iRVYOWSnLC
— Planet Tracker (@planet_tracker) July 12, 2022