Skip to main content

Money talks and demands major banks to exit coal finance before 2040

July 07, 2021

Bloomberg ($):

A coalition of investors overseeing a combined $4.2 trillion of assets are asking the world’s biggest banks to take more aggressive action in addressing climate change and biodiversity decline.

Aviva Investors, Fidelity International and M&G Investments were among 115 investors that wrote to 63 banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank AG and Standard Chartered Plc, to take several steps beyond what they’ve already committed to doing, including a complete exit from all coal finance by 2040 at the latest. The investors also requested that banks publish short-term climate targets before their annual shareholder meetings next year, and identify and disclose their impacts and dependencies on biodiversity.

The fund managers said banks can play a key role in enabling the low-carbon transition and helping avert the worst consequences of climate change and biodiversity loss. It’s also in their own self-interest to throw their weight behind efforts to limit global warming since banks are exposed to the potentially significant effect on companies’ profits and the value of their assets stemming from the transition away from fossil fuels and the physical impacts of climate change and nature loss.

“The message from investors is clear: Distant net zero targets and warm words about the importance of biodiversity are not enough,” said Jeanne Martin, senior campaign manager at ShareAction, the U.K. nonprofit that coordinated the letters. “Investors want concrete action now, and those banks which fail to respond can expect serious challenges at their next AGMs.”

[Alastair Marsh]

More: Investors With $4 Trillion Ask Banks to Raise Climate Ambitions

Join our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest from IEEFA