More financial institutions worldwide acting on climate

London: A growing number of financial institutions worldwide are having a positive impact on tackling catastrophic climate change in line with scientific targets, with nine out of 50 companies making significant inroads, according to a report released on Thursday.

Academic experts have assessed the credibility of institutions’ climate commitments and actions based on evidence-based criteria and principles set by the UN Race to Net-Zero and the International Energy Agency’s net-zero by the year 2050 scenario. The findings are revealed in a new report designed to set an industry standard for driving sustainable change across the financial services sector.

The study scored financial companies according to whether they had explicit policies on eradicating financing for fossil fuel expansion or investment from their operations, as well as assessing the extent to which they had accomplished their aims. Nine institutions were given a Gold award for their efforts out of the 50 institutions assessed.

The report, “Sustainable Finance Report Card: Recognising Ambition Who’s Walking The Net-Zero Path?” has been produced by the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at Imperial College Business School, in partnership with the Carbon Tracker Initiative.

“The landmark Paris Agreement has prompted financial market participants to rethink climate risk and opportunities,” said Dr Iva Koci, a Research Associate for the Centre for Climate Finance & Investment at Imperial College Business School, and one of the report’s lead authors. “Financial institutions increasingly recognize their pivotal role in facilitating the comprehensive transition to a net-zero economy.”

To identify those institutions that the report’s authors say are walking the net-zero path, the researchers screened both debt and equity investors’ climate commitment and delivery and awarded the top institutions a Gold status reflecting their high scores.

“We see these awards as an assessment of financial institutions’ resilience – and leadership of their management -- at a time of great and growing disruption of the incumbent fossil fuel system,” said Dr Koci.