The Alliance recognises of the vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net-zero emissions. All banks who are members of the Alliance have signed the Commitment Statement and will use the accompanying Guidelines for Climate Target Setting. We encourage you to review the FAQs for answers to the most common questions on the Alliance and its operations.
The Commitment Statement is a pre-requisite for joining the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, and is signed by a bank’s CEO. All banks that have signed the commitment will:
- Transition the operational and attributable GHG emissions from their lending and investment portfolios to align with pathways to net-zero by 2050 or sooner.
- Within 18 months of joining, set 2030 targets (or sooner) and a 2050 target, with intermediary targets to be set every 5 years from 2030 onwards.
- Banks’ first 2030 targets will focus on priority sectors where the bank can have the most significant impact, ie. the most GHG-intensive sectors within their portfolios, with further sector targets to be set within 36 months.
- Annually publish absolute emissions and emissions intensity in line with best practice and within a year of setting targets, disclose progress against a board-level reviewed transition strategy setting out proposed actions and climate-related sectoral policies.
- Take a robust approach to the role of offsets in transition plans.
Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks
The commitment is underpinned by the bank-led UNEP FI Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks. They outline four principles for target-setting:
- Banks shall set and publicly disclose long-term and intermediate targets to support meeting the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Banks shall establish an emissions baseline and annually measure and report the emissions profile of their lending portfolios and investment activities.
- Banks shall use widely accepted science-based decarbonisation scenarios to set both long-term and intermediate targets that are aligned with the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Banks shall regularly review targets to ensure consistency with current climate science.
Consult the Intermediate Target Disclosure Checklist to ensure your bank’s intermediate targets meet the Guidelines’ criteria above.
Review the Supporting Notes for the Guidelines for additional clarification on target-setting.
Generally, the Alliance defines a bank as an entity that has a banking license to take deposits. However, other providers of capital and non-bank lenders may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Alliance membership is open to all banks domiciled in jurisdictions recognized by the United Nations. Banks do not need to be a member of UNEP FI in order to join the Alliance, though membership is highly encouraged. Membership commitment should be made at the group level, rather than by a subsidiary.
The Alliance is UN-convened and bank-led. Therefore, all bank members, alongside the UN conveners, have wide-ranging responsibilities to contribute to the Alliance, its governance, its strategy and the execution of its intended actions. Banks are joining the Alliance regularly, so an up-to-date list of members can be found here.
The NZBA’s vision for change is rooted in the idea of achieving real economy decarbonization by aligning the providers of capital with a net-zero trajectory. To this end, the Alliance aims to drive collective, aligned and credible progress toward achieving net zero emissions by 2050 in the banking sector through two structures:
Firstly, it creates a platform for demonstration of leadership and consistency and credibility of action, by providing:
o a common standard/interpretation of what it means to be aligned to a 1.5 degrees trajectory,
o accountability in demonstrating the fulfilment of the commitment,
o action in promoting banks to join the Alliance.
Secondly, it aims to provide a structured forum to support banks’ transition to net zero by 2050 through:
o Facilitation of capacity building within member banks by showcasing potential approaches for ‘how to’ implement the commitment
o Guidance of peer learning and sharing experience to accelerate progress,
o Provision of resources, methodologies and leading practices around areas such as data.
o Identification of gaps and working with others to overcome them. This may include, but is not limited to: international organisations, peers, customers, investors, governments and other alliances,
o Providing a voice for banks to communicate on the topic of transitioning to Net Zero by 2050 in line with a 1.5°C outcome.
The target setting Guidelines will evolve in line with best practice, development of scientific knowledge and availability of methodology and tools following reasonable intervals in updates. The first revision is anticipated by April 2024.
Any suggested changes to the guidelines are to be approved at Plenary level by signatories with a two-thirds majority.
The Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) was launched in September 2019, with a group of pioneering banks that wished to accelerate the climate action they’d committed to as signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking. Both the CCCA and the NZBA are convened by UNEP FI.
The CCCA commitment is consistent with a maximum temperature rise of well-below 2°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 – equivalent to net-zero before 2065. The CCCA banks were instrumental in drafting the Guidelines for Climate Targets Setting for Banks, which underpin both the CCCA and the NZBA commitments.
The Net-Zero Banking Alliance was launched in April 2021 and is accredited as part of the Race to Zero campaign in advance of COP 26. The NZBA ambition is consistent with a maximum temperature rise of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels by 2100, equivalent to net-zero by 2050. Due to the increasing global ambition in this space, we would encourage banks to join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance.
“Immediacy of action, transparency, and accountability underpin this commitment, and we encourage all financial institutions to follow their peers in committing to achieving the drastic reduction of emissions required over the next decade if we are to succeed in limiting global heating to 1.5°C.”- Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme