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.

Latest news


A detailed analysis of HSBC’s net zero ambition

This briefing analyses the five pillars of HSBC’s new net zero ambition outlined in HSBC Chief Executive Noel Quinn’s letter to customers. It includes a list of recommended questions for investors interested in engaging with HSBC on its climate strategy


Banking on a Low-Carbon Future II

This ranking examines 20 of the largest European banks, based on their responses to climate change. It builds on the first edition of our banking survey in December 2017 which looked at the 15 largest European banks.

Read our online summary


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.


Get in touch

Sonia Hierzig

Sonia Hierzig

Senior Projects Manager - Climate Change