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.

Resources

Changing Course: Bank Financing of the Shipping Industry

This briefing offers guidance for investor engagement with shipping companies and their lenders, recommendations on climate-related risks, and guidance on how banks can support decarbonisation.

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Investor letter to Barclays on its energy policies

ShareAction coordinated a letter by large institutional investors to Barclays requesting a strengthening of its climate policies

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Getting to Green: Showcasing Leading Approaches to Climate Change within the European Banking Sector

This report showcases leading approaches to climate change within the European banking sector. It provides recommendations on how banks can align their business models with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

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Get in touch

Sonia Hierzig

Sonia Hierzig

Senior Projects Manager - Climate Change