Engaging banks on the low-carbon economy
Banks have the potential to accelerate the fight against climate change by redirecting lending from carbon-intensive industries to renewable sectors. ShareAction engages with banks to ensure their activities are advancing, and not hindering, the transition to a low-carbon economy. We rank the largest banks on their approaches to climate change, and also mobilise investors to ask for better climate-related disclosures.
Why this is important and what we’re doing about it
Banks are central actors in the investment system. Their lending decisions – when, where, and to whom – determine the future shape of our economy. By phasing out lending to polluting industries and increasing financing to renewable sectors, banks have the potential to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
ShareAction collaborates with a range of stakeholders to make sure banks align their activities with the needs of this transition. So far, we have mobilised over 100 investors worth nearly $2 trillion to write to 62 global banks, asking for better climate-related disclosures. We have also ranked the 15 largest European banks on how well they are managing climate-related issues. Each year, we attend the AGMs of major European banks to ask them to step up their climate commitments.
This year, we are focussing our campaign on the following themes:
- Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD);
- Aligning lending criteria with the goals of the Paris Agreement;
- Low-carbon products and services;
- Governance structures and strategy on climate-related risks and opportunities.
Amundi, Folksam and Brunel Pension Partnership back ShareAction’s call for HSBC to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels
ShareAction said Barclays’ energy policy still fails to screen out coal and oil sands companies, representing a glaring hole in the company’s climate ambition.
New analysis shows that in the four months leading up to HSBC’s net zero announcement, the bank financed at least four fossil fuel companies involved in new infrastructure, and directly financed an offshore oil and gas project.
Europe’s largest bank has today announced it will go net-zero by 2050 at the latest but investors say its commitment lacks substance.
Covid-19 may have moved many AGMs behind closed doors, but AGM activism has never been so important. Here’s five ways we challenged companies in 2020.
130 people bought a share in Barclays and had the world watching their historic shareholder activism on climate change.
A detailed analysis of HSBC’s net zero ambition
Banking on a Low-Carbon Future II
Changing Course: Bank Financing of the Shipping Industry
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Senior Projects Manager - Climate Change