A new report out today from the Transition Pathways Initiative shows how far global banks are from meeting their climate commitments. As reported in the AP:

The world’s most influential banks need to substantially accelerate climate efforts if global temperature rise is to be kept within the targets of the Paris Agreement, an assessment released Thursday by an institutional investors group warned.

The efforts of 27 giant banks in North America, Europe and Asia to align their policies with global warming of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) are falling far short in every area measured in the pilot study, obtained exclusively by The Associated Press. The report said no major bank has committed to end financing for new oil and gas exploration, and only one has promised to cut all coal financing in line with International Energy Agency guidelines.

The evaluation was prepared by the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), whose more than 350 members are mainly asset managers and owners. They include Barclay’s Bank UK Retirement Fund, BlackRock and Goldman Sachs Asset Management International. Group members have €51 trillion ($52 trillion) in assets under management and advice, according to the IIGCC website. That amounts to roughly a tenth of total assets held by financial institutions worldwide. The Transition Pathway Initiative, a research group that tracks corporate emissions, was a co-author of the report.

Read more at the original AP story.

You can download the full report here: An-investor-led-framework-of-pilot-indicators-to-assess-banks-on-the-transition-to-net-zero-28-July.



Many global observers scratch their heads at why Canada’s big banks continue to double or triple down on an industry most are distancing themselves from, for climate if not for purely economic reasons. The National Observer offers a critical answer via a significant investigation into the ties between banks and the fossil fuel sector.

They found that nearly 1 out of every 5 directors at Canada’s banks have connections to fossil fuel companies. This means that the very top strategic leadership of banks “must act in the best interests of both a bank and a fossil fuel company at precisely the same time the world must transition away from fossil fuels to protect the planet.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Will Canada’s banks get their act together on climate — and who are the money men and women tasked with making it happen?

The answer reveals deep connections between Canada’s largest banks and the fossil fuel industry that pose significant barriers to climate action. To understand how a bank’s board of directors is influenced, Canada’s National Observer combed through the directors of Canada’s five largest banks — RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC — and found one in five also serves on the board of a fossil fuel company, the industry most responsible for driving climate change. Thirteen of 63 bank directors have direct fossil fuel connections, the findings reveal, with at least one fossil-linked director serving on each of the Big 5 banks’ boards.

Read the full investigation at the National Observer website here.