Report ranks banks on climate change strategies

Posted by Laura Grant on January 12, 2008
Posted in Business

Financial institutions have a crucial role to play in supporting solutions to combat climate change, and while some banks are rising to the challenge, the sector still has a long way to go, according to a new report that analyses the climate change governance practices of 40 of the world’s largest banks.

“With nearly $6-trillion in market capitalisation, banks are the world’s major capital providers and risk management experts. As such, banks have a vital role in finding timely, practical and cost-effective solutions to mitigate climate change and adapt the [global] economy to its already apparent effects,” the report says.

Sixteen US banks, 15 European, five Asian, one Brazilian and three Canadian banks in several different classes of financial services, including diversified banks, investment banks and asset managers, were assessed on their climate change strategies.

European banks are leading the way with US banks following closely behind, the report says. The five highest scoring banks were all based in Europe – HSBC, ABN AMRO, Barclays, HBOS and Deutsche Bank – followed by Citigroup, Bank of America and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Much of the positive climate change-related action has taken place in the past 12 to 18 months, especially with regard to overall disclosure, research and financial support for clean energy, the report says.

But these actions are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says Mindy Lubber, the president of Ceres, the coalition of investors and environmental groups working with companies to address sustainability challenges that published the report.

Download the full report: Corporate Governance and Climate Change: The Banking Sector


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