Mark Carney launches Net Zero Banking Alliance with 43 banks in tow

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 22 April 2021

Digital BankingSavings and Investment

Triodos Bank, Santander and Lloyds are among the first to join.

Mark Carney launches Net Zero Banking Alliance with 43 banks in tow
Image source: Mark Carney/Bank of England.

Former governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney is leading some of the world’s biggest banks and asset managers on an initiative to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

To kick things off, 43 banks have signed up to be part of Net Zero Banking Alliance including some of the world’s largest players including Santander, Lloyds and HSBC.

The banks are also joined by 37 asset managers including Aviva, Zurich and St James’s Place as part of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, and some yet-to-be-announced insurers as part of the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance.

Together the groups form the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), and will be required to set targets for cutting the carbon content of their assets by 2030, with an aim of reaching net zero by 2050.

“This is the breakthrough in mainstreaming climate finance the world needs,” said Carney, UN special envoy for climate action and finance, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s climate finance advisor for COP26.

“I welcome the leadership of the Financial Services Task Force and other global banks for their new commitments to net zero and for joining forces with GFANZ, the gold standard for net zero commitments in the financial sector.” 

“Most fundamentally, GFANZ will act as the strategic forum to ensure the financial system works together to broaden, deepen, and accelerate the transition to a net zero economy,” he added.

Sadly much of the target setting is being left to the banks and institutions themselves, with 2030 targets being set within 18 months and further 5-yearly targets set beyond that.

Peter Blom, CEO of sustainable bank Triodos Bank, one of the founding signatories, said: “We encourage all banks to set targets to reach net-zero well before 2050.” 

“We are running out of time and without strong action from all global stakeholders, the Paris climate goals will be out of reach. If that happens, future generations will be forced to cope with the adverse effects of uncontrolled climate change.”

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