Have a question about the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA)? Find answers below to the most common questions we’re asked on NZBA, its governance, the NZBA Commitment, and the Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks. If you don’t find what you need after reading through the list, feel free to contact us.


Understanding the NZBA Commitment and Guidelines

Reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is a critical issue, which will require action across public and private sectors. Financial institutions have an important role to play, including in the measurement, disclosure and reduction of their Scope 3 emissions.

The Net-Zero Banking Alliance’s (NZBA) primary catalyst for achieving the net-zero transition is the target setting and reporting process embedded within its central Commitment Statement. In signing the NZBA Commitment, banks agree to set targets that are:

  • Robust: targets must identify carbon reductions across priority economic sectors
  • Ambitious: targets must align with the 1.5°C warming ambition of the Paris Agreement
  • Science-based: targets must follow a pathway that allows for no/low overshoot of the 1.5°C ambition, as defined by the best-available science-based climate scenarios

The NZBA commitment and guidelines require banks to set 2030 (or sooner) and 2050 net-zero targets that align with no/low-overshoot 1.5°C transition pathways as specified by credible science-based climate scenarios. This includes all key sectors involved in extracting and supplying fossil fuels (coal mining, oil & gas) as well as most key sectors involved in demanding and consuming fossil fuel energy (power generation, transport, real estate, cement, steel, etc.).

  • 18-month targets: the first set of intermediate 2030 targets are due to be reported 18 months after signing the NZBA commitment. These targets will prioritise those sectors that represent the bank’s largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and GHG intensities.
  • 36-month targets: these initial priority targets will be followed, 36 month after signing the NZBA commitment at the latest, by a full suite of decarbonisation targets that cover a significant majority of the total of financed emissions covering nine priority sectors (agriculture, aluminum, cement, coal, commercial and residential real estate, iron and steel, oil and gas, power generation, and transport). These targets must be set for 2030 at the latest.

The details of the commitment are outlined in the Commitment Statement and the Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks.

The Commitment Statement and Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks apply to the bank’s lending and investment activities (Scope 3, Category 15). Banks’ targets shall include their clients’ Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions, where significant, and where data allows. Coverage is expected to increase as data quality and client reporting improves.

Banks’ own Scope 1, Scope 2 and non-category 15 Scope 3 (e.g. from business travel) emissions are not addressed in the Guidelines, which focus only on banks’ Scope 3 Category 15 emissions. It is taken as given that banks shall target net zero emissions in their own operations well before 2050.

Sector-level targets shall be set for all, or a substantial majority of, the carbon-intensive sectors, where data and methodologies allow. These sectors include: agriculture; aluminium; cement; coal; commercial and residential real estate; iron and steel; oil and gas; power generation; and transport.

Signatories should prioritise sectors based on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, GHG intensities and/or financial exposure in their portfolio in their first round of target setting (within 18 months of signing). Notwithstanding methodological limitations, all or a substantial majority of the remaining carbon-intensive sectors from this list shall be included in subsequent rounds of target setting (within 36 months of signing).

Banks should clarify which parts of their balance sheet are encompassed by their targets. Where entities within the bank’s structure carry out other types of business (such as insurance, pensions funds, or asset management), it may be appropriate for those entities to follow alternative net-zero frameworks.

Targets shall be set based on:

  • Absolute emissions; and/or
  • Sector-specific emissions intensity (e.g. CO2e/ metric).

While a bank’s targets may be supported by other approaches (e.g. production volume trajectories, technology mix) or measurements (e.g. financing targets), the targets shall nonetheless be set in absolute and/or emissions intensity terms. In specific circumstances, banks may use an alternative sector-specific methodology highlighted by the Alliance.
In contrast to targets, which may be set for absolute and/or intensity metrics, banks must provide annual emissions reporting that covers both absolute and intensity metrics to give a complete picture.

Banks shall publicly disclose their targets and report annually on progress. The financed emissions profile of the bank’s portfolio shall also be calculated and disclosed annually. This shall include, where targets have been set:

  • Absolute emissions; and
  • Portfolio-wide emissions intensity (e.g. CO2e/$ lent or invested); and
  • Sector-specific emissions intensity (e.g. CO2e/metric).

Within 12 months of setting the targets, banks shall publish, at a minimum, a high-level transition plan, which may be part of existing disclosures, providing an overview of the categories of actions expected to be undertaken to meet the targets and an approximate timeline.

The Net-Zero Banking Alliance’s (NZBA) approach is meant to complement government-led climate strategies, but not assume responsibility for achieving outcomes dependent on factors outside of the signatory bank’s reasonable control, nor directly regulate capital flows to any country, sector, or industry. Of key importance in the interpretation and implementation of the NZBA commitment is to support a just and orderly transition to net zero that will strengthen individuals, communities, and economies. NZBA members are committed to doing what is within their reasonable, independent, and individual control to assist in this just transition, including disclosing client financed emissions, establishing sectoral targets, and employing good faith efforts in their implementation of this strategy.

Setting reliable intermediate goals for financed emissions of clients’ Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions necessarily requires the availability of reasonably supported data and methodologies. Achievement of goals will be dependent on complex and interdependent decarbonisation efforts across the economy. More and better data is still needed, particularly with respect to Scope 3 emissions. As company-level and activity-level emissions data improves and technologies develop, members will enhance their targets for clients’ Scope 3 emissions to help fulfil their net zero commitments in tandem with relevant national governments’ regulations, public policies, and mandates. Members plan to continue to work alongside government, industry, and clients to develop and support clients’ Scope 3 emission reduction targets in sectors for which relevant national governments are outlining sector specific transition strategies.

The Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks will evolve in line with best practice, development of scientific knowledge and availability of methodologies and tools following reasonable intervals in updates. Version 1 of the Guidelines was published in April 2021, Version 2 of the Guidelines was published in April 2024 and the next revision is anticipated by April 2027.

Any suggested changes to the Guidelines are to be approved at Plenary level by signatories with a two-thirds majority and 50% of the membership having voted.

Further information relating to the application of the Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks can be found in these Supporting Notes for the Guidelines for Climate Target Setting – Version 2.



Generally, the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) 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.

Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) membership is open to all banks domiciled in jurisdictions recognized by the United Nations. A bank does not need to be a member of UNEP FI in order to join NZBA, though membership is highly encouraged. Membership commitment should be made at the group level, rather than by a subsidiary.

NZBA is UN-convened and bank-led. Therefore, all bank members, alongside the UN conveners, have wide-ranging responsibilities to contribute to NZBA, its governance, its strategy and the execution of its intended actions. Banks join NZBA regularly. An up-to-date list of members can be found here.



The Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) is governed by a Steering Group (SG), which oversees decision-making and strategy. The SG is led by a Chair and comprises 14 member banks plus 1 UN seat. SG seats are assigned by Alliance member banks and represent a diversity of geographies and business models.

The SG banks are represented at two levels in the decision-making process. At the ‘Principal’ level, C-suite delegates of the SG banks provide strategic input. The ‘Representative’ level comprises working-level delegates from the SG Group banks, who meet more regularly to discuss Alliance business and make decisions on behalf of their organisations who are representing the members in their region. The Alliance is supported and convened by the UNEP FI Secretariat, and the United Nations also holds a seat on the SG.

See the following webpage for the latest information on the members of the NZBA Steering Group: https://www.unepfi.org/net-zero-banking/members/governance/.

The Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) is bank-led. The UN Secretariat provides the day-to-day administrative oversight to the NZBA and has a permanent seat on the Steering Group (SG).

More specifically, the Secretariat will:

  • Ensure that the Alliance meets objectives on time and within budget, and that it does so following the general direction provided by the SG. To that effect, the Secretariat is empowered to make operational decisions as a matter of due course, while strategic decisions remain the responsibility of the SG.
  • Support the SG.
  • Convene and provide input on strategic direction of NZBA.
  • Coordinate regular meetings.
  • Provide advice and guidance on technical and structural matters facing NZBA.
  • At the direction of the NZBA leadership, prepare and conduct regular virtual calls of the work tracks that address technical and structural matters.
  • Manage a secretarial budget.
  • Support NZBA communication.
  • Manage strategic outreach to key partners, establishing linkages and regular communications with related initiatives.
  • Facilitate annual collection and review of the progress made and challenges faced by Members with regard to their commitment as set out in the Commitment Statement and Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks.
  • At the direction of the SG, consult scientific and technical experts.
  • Report to the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) on progress, as agreed by the SG.

The Net-Zero Banking Alliance’s (NZBA) 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, NZBA 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:

  • A common standard/interpretation of what it means to be aligned to a 1.5°C trajectory.
  • Accountability in demonstrating the fulfilment of the commitment.
  • Action in promoting banks to join NZBA.

Secondly, it aims to provide a structured forum to support banks’ transition to net zero by 2050 through:

  • Facilitating capacity building within member banks by showcasing potential approaches for ‘how to’ implement the NZBA commitment
  • Guidance of peer learning and pro-competitively sharing experience to accelerate progress.
  • Provision of resources, methodologies and leading practices.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Relationship between NZBA and other initiatives

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is a global coalition of financial sector net-zero alliances working together to support the world’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. Through the net-zero alliances, GFANZ has united over 675 institutions across the financial sector, including banks, asset owners, asset managers, financial service providers, and investment consultants, from 50 jurisdictions. To help unlock transition investment in developing economies, GFANZ regional networks work to support capital mobilisation, expand participation, and reflect the diverse needs of financial institutions around the world.
Click here to read more about the sector-specific alliances that make up GFANZ.

Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from non-state actors, including businesses, cities, regions and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. It mobilizes a coalition of leading net zero initiatives. These ‘real economy’ actors join 120 countries in the largest ever alliance of committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest. NZBA is an accredited partner of Race to Zero.

We invite you to learn more about GFANZ and about the Race to Zero campaign at their respective websites.

The Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) is UNEP FI’s flagship sustainable banking framework, where signatory banks commit to align their activities with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. For those PRB signatories that have identified climate mitigation as an area of impact that they want to address as part of their PRB commitment, the NZBA acts as a facilitator and an accelerator, providing a dedicated forum in which to align their activities to a pathway that observes a 1.5°C warming limit, setting targets on an accelerated timeline. Other accelerator commitments of the PRB include the Commitment to Financial Health & Inclusion.

The NZBA specifically addresses climate mitigation and GHG emissions, providing technical guidance, peer learning and capacity building on the development of net-zero pathways in accordance with the 1.5°C warming ambition and fulfils the climate mitigation pillar of the PRB commitment.

For those NZBA members who are also PRB signatories, the reporting process is unified across both commitments.

A significant majority of NZBA signatories are also signatories to the PRB, and we strongly encourage banks to join both frameworks. The Net-Zero Banking Alliance is also open to banks which are not PRB signatories.

The two initiatives have separate governance, with the PRB reporting into the UNEP FI Banking Board and the NZBA being steered by its own Steering Group.