Bankers for NetZero

Bankers for NetZero

In November 2021, the UK will host COP26 in Glasgow. This presents a unique opportunity for the UK – and the UK banking sector – to demonstrate bold leadership and play a central role in catalysing international action on climate change.

Bankers for NetZero

In November 2021, the UK will host COP26 in Glasgow. This presents a unique opportunity for the UK – and the UK banking sector – to demonstrate bold leadership and play a central role in catalysing international action on climate change.


The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Fair Business Banking, Volans and Re:Pattern have launched an ambitious programme of work to develop a set of policy recommendations ahead of COP26 designed to create a regulatory environment that enables banks to play their part in financing the net-zero transition. The commitment framework, which you can find here, is based on input from a wide range of stakeholders across the business, financial, regulatory and political communities. The lessons learned from this approach will be valuable for audiences within the UK and beyond. Findings will be presented at a special high-level event at COP26 and in Parliament during the autumn. Bankers for NetZero is part of the UK’s Finance Coalition for COP26. The UK Coalition is led by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and includes the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), United Nations Principle for Responsible Investment (UN PRI), Make My Money Matter and Bankers for NetZero. The coalition is focused on mobilising financial institutions for climate action and collectively encouraging their stakeholders to set high ambition commitments from the financial sector at COP26. Bankers for Net Zero has put in an application to join the Climate Champion Team’s Race to Zero as a partner and are currently working with the COP26 team ahead of the summit to encourage as many banks to sign up to the Race to Zero as possible. The event at COP26 will be a unique opportunity for the UK to show leadership in forging a path that tackles the difficult issues that society will face in transitioning to net zero, and the outputs from the Bankers for Net Zero initiative are designed to be used as a model for countries around the world.

Project plan

Bankers for NetZero aims to catalyse industry action and policy changes that accelerate the net zero transition across all sectors. Alongside our work on gold-standard banking commitments for net zero we will do deeper work in a small number of key industries/sectors, focusing on those with the greatest opportunity for near-term impact. Our first sector focus is the transformation of the built environment – specifically the retrofit of homes and buildings to reduce their energy and carbon footprint. For this topic we are working with the UK Green Building Council to foster collaboration across industry, finance and government. Our second thematic focus is on the role of SMEs in the transition to net zero – and how finance best serves them. Other focus areas to follow in 2021.

The process involves a combination of:

  • Private working group meetings involving banks, businesses and other key stakeholders
  • Ongoing engagement with parliamentarians and policymakers across key government departments and regulators.

Bankers for NetZero Steering Committee

B4NZ has appointed a 16-strong steering committee to provide guidance, review policy and challenge the level of net zero ambitions. There have been two meetings to date, and the Committee will meet approximately once per quarter throughout the duration of the initiative. Members of the B4NZ Steering Committee includes:

  • Bevis Watts, Chief Executive, Triodos Bank UK
  • Charles McManus, Chief Executive, Clearbank
  • Dame Teresa Graham, Independent
  • Elsa Palanza, Global Head of Sustainability and ESG, Barclays
  • John Elkington, Founder, Volans (guest)
  • Kai Remco Fisher, Lead for Climate Change, UNEP Finance Initiative
  • Kevin Hollinrake MP, Co-chair of the APPG on Fair Business Banking
  • Meryam Omi, Climate Action Champion, COP26
  • Munish Datta, Director of Membership and Operations, UK Green Building Council
  • Nick Robins, Professor in Practice of Sustainability, Grantham Research Institute
  • Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26
  • Oliver Prill, Chief Executive, Tide
  • Paul Ellis, Chief Executive, Ecology Building Society
  • Richard Winder, Head of External Affairs, Handelsbanken UK
  • Sandrine Dixson Declève, Co-President, Club of Rome
  • Sarah Gordon, CEO, Impact Investment Institute

Observers of the Steering Committee include:

  • HM Treasury
  • Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
  • Green Finance Institute (GFI)
  • Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
  • Bank of England (BoE)
  • UK Finance
  • Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)

The Bankers for NetZero – Launch Webinar

The APPG along with our delivery partners, Volans and Re:Pattern launched our Bankers for NetZero Initiative via live webinar on Monday 27th April 2020. The launch webinar brought together banking leaders, MPs, regulators and businesses committed to playing a proactive role in enabling a rapid transition to net zero emissions across the entire UK economy. The webinar was a great success and had a very positive response from attendees. We had an “all-star” panel for the webinar, including live and video speeches from:

  • John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury
  • Kevin Hollinrake MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on Fair Business Banking
  • Chris Faint, Head of Peer Supervision and Climate Risk at the Bank of England
  • Sandrine Dixson-Decléve, Co-President, Club of Rome
  • Eric Usher, Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)
  • Nigel Topping, UK COP26 Climate Champion
  • Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, CEO of the Green Finance Institute
  • Elsa Palanza, Global Head of Sustainability at Barclays
  • Wolfgang Kuhn, Director of Financial Sector Strategies at ShareAction
  • Bevis Watts, CEO of Triodos Bank UK

Follow the link here to watch the full webinar.

Retrofits Webinar – Quick wins for the economy and the environment

On Thursday the 16th of July 2020, the APPG in collaboration with the APPG on Energy Studies hosted the first Bankers for NetZero webinar. The webinar was hosted by the APPGs respected chairs and organised by the Bankers for NetZero delivery partners Re:Pattern and Volans. The purpose of the webinar was to inform businesses, banks and MPs on the potential macro-economic and environmental opportunities that can be derived from retrofitting the UK Built environment as well as to provide a forum for businesses and banks to discuss the regulatory and legislative barriers that discourage retrofits. The session saw the all-star panellists (listed below) present their ideas to MPs on how to support businesses that need to encourage to retrofit in their industry, proving many policy recommendations on how to stimulate further demand.

  • Kevin Hollinrake MP, Co-Chair of the APPG on Fair Business Banking
  • Lord Karan Bilimoira, President of the Confederation of British Industry
  • John Davies, Head of Sustainability at Derwent London
  • Emma Harvey, Director at  the Green Finance Institute
  • Julie Hirigoyen, CEO of the UK Green Building Council
  • Mike Pitts, Interim Challenge Director – Transforming Construction at Innovate UK
  • Peter Styring, Chair of CO2Chem
  • Marco DeBenedictis, Head of Sustainable Finance at Barclays
  • Madeleina Loughrey-Grant, Group Leader and Tax Director at Laing O’Rourke
  • Matthew Gordon, secretariat of the PGES

Follow the link here to watch the full webinar.

Parliamentary Screening of WWF’s ‘Our Planet: Too Big Too Fail’

In association with WWF, we hosted a screening of ‘Our Planet: Too Big to Fail’ for MPs, Peers and senior industry on the 26 November 2020, introduced by the APPG on Fair Business Banking’s co-chair Kevin Hollinrake MP. The film was introduced by Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen MP and Richard Curtis and was followed by a panel discussion with Ministers Kwasi Kwarteng MP and Guy Opperman MP, Kate Norgrove (Executive Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, WWF), Bevis Watts (CEO Triodos Bank) and Emma Howard Boyd (chair of the Environment Agency). We look forward to an ambitious series of events next year in association with UNEP FI, WWF and other APPGs and partners to refine and clarify the role of finance in the Race to Zero.

Please click here to watch the full version of WWF’s brilliant film.