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Raising banking standards

Ensuring banks account for their impact on people and planet.

Banks wield huge power over our economy

The financing decisions made by banks today will influence the world we live in tomorrow. For example, when banks finance fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, they help to accelerate the climate crisis, which threatens the health of people and planet. The banking sector is not yet doing its bit to avert the worst consequences of climate change or biodiversity loss. This has to change.

We partner with a range of stakeholders, including asset managers, asset owners, NGOs and individual retail investors to demand banks phase out financing to polluting activities, and increases the flow of capital into low-carbon alternatives. We also engage with banks directly and push them to enact robust fossil fuel phase-out policies.

We win change in three key ways:

Engagement

We coordinate private and public engagements between banks and their institutional and retail shareholders. For example, we meet with banks to discuss our research and provide them with tailored recommendations, and we help their investors to file resolutions and send letters to them.

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Research

We assess banks based on their performance on climate change and biodiversity, examining things like their fossil fuel policies. See below in the resources section for our latest research.

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Campaigns

We work with investors, NGOs and indigenous groups to hold banks accountable. For example, we help affected communities make their voices heard at the AGMs of banks financing destructive projects in their local areas.

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Our current campaign priorities

Coal, Oil & Gas phase out

Ensuring banks develop targets and policies to phase out their financing of coal, oil and gas on pathways aligned with 1.5C warming, as per the Paris Agreement.

Capital markets facilitation of emissions

Ensuring banks take full responsibility for the emissions they facilitate through the capital markets (such as through bonds). Read our blog on why this matters.

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Green finance

Ensuring banks not only phase out of fossil fuels, but also rapidly scale up financing of sustainable activities to facilitate the energy transition. Our green finance work ensures banks' green finance targets and disclosures are transparent and robust.

Our campaigning works. Here's how we moved HSBC:

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