23 September 2019
33 banks commit to immediate action towards aligning with global climate goals
23 September/New York To coincide with the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit, one day after the launch of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking , 33 of their Signatories with over $13 trillion in assets have today announced a Collective Commitment to Climate Action. With this groundbreaking pledge, Founding Signatories of the Principles are taking tangible steps towards putting their commitment to align their business with international climate goals into practice. The commitment was announced during a full-day event on the implementation of the Principles for Responsible Banking, hosted by the thirty banks that led their development.
The Collective Commitment to Climate Action sets out concrete and time-bound actions the banks will take to scale up their contribution to and align their lending with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate, including:
- aligning their portfolios to reflect and finance the low-carbon, climate-resilient economy required to limit global warming to well-below 2, striving for 1.5 degrees Celsius;
- taking concrete action, within a year of joining, and use their products, services and client relationships to facilitate the economic transition required to achieve climate neutrality;
- being publicly accountable for their climate impact and progress on these commitments.
This is the farthest-reaching commitment to climate alignment by the banking sector to date. Speaking at the launch of the commitment, Eric Usher, Head, UNEP FI said, “By announcing their historic pledge on the day of the United Nations Climate Action summit these banks have shown the importance the private sector places on their continued commitment towards building a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. They are demonstrating the constructive power of the banking industry through collective action to make a global impact.”
The Collective Commitment builds on the Katowice Commitment announced by five leading banks in 2018 and was formulated by a group of banks that had been working on the development of the Principles for Responsible Banking since their inception. They have now invited other banks to sign up to the commitment to rapidly grow this coalition in the next few months until the upcoming Santiago Climate Change Conference (UNFCCC COP 25).
In addition to the Collective Commitment to Climate Action for banks, asset owners from around the world are today also launching an important alliance regarding climate. Please see details on this complementary initiative, a coalition convened by UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and partners here.
Please see the full text of the Collective Commitment to Climate Action and all participating banks here. This document also includes quotes from CEOs and senior representatives of all banks announcing their Collective Commitment to Climate Action today.
About the Principles for Responsible Banking
The Principles for Responsible Banking were developed by a core group of 30 Founding Banks through an innovative global partnership between banks and the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). UNEP FI is the UN-private sector collaboration that includes membership of more than 250 finance institutions around the globe.
For more information, including infographics and videos, please visit https://www.unepfi.org/banking/bankingprinciples/
For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact:
Banking Team Lead, UNEP FI
Simone.firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 229178721