Engaging the banking sector on the low-carbon economy

Following our launch report Banking on a Low-Carbon Future in February 2017, we ranked, for the first time, the largest European banks to see how well they’re fulfilling their commitments to slowing climate change. We also managed to build considerable investor support for this campaign. Over 100 investors with nearly $2 trillion AUM signed a letter asking 62 global banks to step up the fight against climate change.


Why this is important and what we’re doing about it

The planet is warming at a dangerous speed. Without decisive action, we will lock in a future of widespread drought and flooding. This will worsen problems of poverty, migration and conflict. To curtail this devastation, the world’s governments adopted a historic climate agreement in Paris in 2015. The target of this agreement is to limit global temperature rise to ‘well below 2°C, with an ambition for 1.5’.

To achieve this goal, it is vital that we redirect global capital flows away from high-carbon investments towards a low-carbon economy. This is why banks will be crucial. Millions of us have a stake in the banking system, as customers and as savers whose pensions are invested in banks. The way our money is used should be aligned with the low-carbon future that we all need.

ShareAction collaborates with a range of stakeholders to make sure banks align their activities with the needs of this transition. So far, we have published guidelines for investors to support them in their climate-related engagement with investee banks. We have mobilised over 100 investors worth nearly $2 trillion to write letters to 62 of the world’s largest banks, asking for better climate-related disclosures. Most recently, we surveyed the 15 largest European banks to find out how they are managing climate-related issues. We will publish a ranking based on our findings soon.

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Campaign resources

Banking on a Low-Carbon Future: A Ranking of the 15 Largest European Banks Response to Climate Change

This is a ranking of the 15 largest European banks’ responses to climate change and includes recommendations for institutional investors, policymakers, and regulators to mitigate climate risks.


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Sonia Hierzig Project Manager

Colette St-OngeBanks