The United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) hosted a signing ceremony at COP28 for new signatories to the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) and the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA). The signing ceremony, a first for UNEP FI at COP, saw five banks join the PRB, and one join NZBA, just the third to do so from the MENA region.

As stated by Nuran Atef, the Africa & Middle East Regional Coordinator for UNEP FI, the event signified a “strengthening of these six banks’ commitment to excellence, innovation, and a common vision to advance the sustainable finance agenda.”

The new signatories include:

  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Banking – Net-Zero Banking Alliance
  • Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank
  • Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement
  • Banco Regional de Desenvolvimento do Extremo Sul
  • Caisse de Dépôt et de Gestion
  • Fidelity Bank Nigeria

Closing the ceremony, Inger Anderson, UNEP Executive Director & UN Under-Secretary-General, recognised the transformative role that banks are playing in sustainable finance, stating that, “together we can really build a financial system that is making money, serving customers, and saving the planet,” and noted that the new signatories join a wide community that play a key leadership role in doing so.

The Principles for Responsible Banking, are the world’s foremost sustainable banking framework, developed by UNEP FI in collaboration with leading banks worldwide. Through the Principles, banks take action to align their core strategy, decision-making, lending and investment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and international agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement. The Principles for Responsible Banking now has 338 signatory banks from 82 countries, representing over 50% of global banking assets.

The Net-Zero Banking Alliance aims to mobilise the banking industry towards achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and serves as a climate accelerator to the Principles for Responsible Banking. It recognises the vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions, supporting members to design, set, and achieve credible science-based net zero targets that align with limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 °C. Banks’ commitment to net zero continues to grow and to spread. NZBA membership has tripled in number since its launch and banks from emerging markets now make up over a third of its membership.

To read more about the Principles for Responsible Banking, click here.

To read more about the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, click here.