Banks provide the lifeblood to economic activity. Through lending, investment banking and advisory activities, banks play a central role in where capital is allocated. The problem we face today is that too many banks are failing to consider climate harm when they make financing decisions, and too much money is being ploughed into carbon-intensive activities that we so desperately need to move away from.
In the face of the accelerating climate crisis, investors have come together to send a clear message to banks globally: we need you to make public and credible commitments to align all your financing activities with achieving the Paris Agreement goals; provide meaningful short- and medium-term targets for phasing out financing of carbon-intensive activities across all sectors; and report on progress in achieving these targets. These investor expectations, launched today, send a unequivocal message: capital needs to start shifting now, not tomorrow, if we are to protect our collective future.
Sarasin & Partners is one of three leading investors for this initiative, along with Hermes and Church of England Commissioners. Support for the investor effort is being provided by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). Sarasin & Partners involvement builds on recent engagements with Barclays Bank and HSBC, resulting in meaningful steps by both banks to commit to aligning their financing activities with the Paris Climate Agreement goals.