In a pivotal move that’s bound to shift global climate action into higher gear, banks with more than $47 trillion in assets – or a third of the global industry – adopted new UN-backed “responsible banking” principles to fight global warming and other environmental issues.
Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, and Barclays were among 130 banks to join the new framework on the eve of a United Nations summit in New York aimed at pushing companies and governments to act quickly to avert catastrophic global warming.
The principles, drawn up jointly by UN officials and banks, are supported by a strong implementation framework that defines clear accountabilities and requires each bank to set, publish and work towards ambitious targets.
Under pressure from investors, regulators and climate activists, some big banks have acknowledged the role lenders will need to play in a rapid transition to a low-carbon economy.
As part of the pledge, the signatories will seek to shift their loan books away from fossil fuels and set targets to increase “positive impacts” and reduce “negative impacts on people and the environment.