Leading banks partner with UN to make financial markets more climate transparent

11 of the world’s leading banks have joined forces with the UN to promote climate transparency in financial markets. Together they represent over USD 7 trillion.

According to a statement from the UN’s environment agency (UNEP), ANZ, Barclays, Bradesco, Citi, Itaú, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, Standard Chartered, TD Bank Group, and UBS have jointly committed to develop analytical tools and indicators to strengthen assessments and disclosures of climate-related risks and opportunities.

“The message from financial heavyweights is clear – climate change poses a real and serious threat to our economy,” Erik Solheim, the executive director of UNEP, said in the statement.

“At the same time, there are enormous business opportunities in taking climate action. Transparency on how financial institutions mitigate the risks and seize the opportunities of a two degrees pathway is crucial to move international markets towards actively supporting a low-carbon and climate-resilient future,” he added.

The partnership between the institutions and the UNEP Finance Initiative follows the recommendations by the Financial Stability Board (FSB)’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). It published its final recommendations in June on voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for use by companies, investors, lenders and insurers.

Liselotte Arni, Head Environmental and Social Risk, UBS said: “We welcome and support the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. They represent a major step forward to help businesses and investors assess the risks associated with climate change. We look forward to working with other banks on implementing the TFCD’s recommendations.”

According to UNEP, increasing the amount of reliable information on financial institutions’ exposure to climate-related risks and opportunities would strengthen the stability of the financial system and help boost climate-friendly investments.


Image credit: Simon & His Camera via flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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