The biggest banks in Europe, North America and Asia are in a global race to provide the $12 trillion in financing needed by 2030 for the historic global transition to a low-carbon economy.
OK, that’s not the dominant headline out of the new report from Boston Common Asset Management, which surveyed 59 major banks about their climate risk-disclosure practices and their specific financing commitments to low-carbon projects. Most coverage said banks’ “superficial approach” ‘falls short” and “lags on response.” The report criticized the banks’ commitments as “skin deep” and “found urgent shortcomings that threaten to undermine efforts to support the transition to a low carbon-economy.”
But the report could instead have cited increasing buy-in from dozens of major banks to tout the coming capital shift and incite a global banking race to the top. Leaders in the low-carbon transition, the strategic thinking goes, should have an advantage as all banks are increasingly held to account for the climate implications of their lending, asset management and investment banking practices.
The report highlights a growing number of “positive deviants” in global banking. They’re already measuring, disclosing and, more importantly, managing to scenarios that limit global warming to under 2-degrees Celsius, as called for in the Paris climate accord and recommended by the Task Force for Climate-Related Disclosure, the new bible for assessing climate risks. That exercise in hard-nosed risk assessment should drive a sea-change in global finance as the scale of climate disruption becomes clear.
Read the full article about financing the low-carbon transition globally by David Bank at ImpactAlpha.
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