Statement from the Bankers for NetZero Initiative: UK Net Zero Banking Sector Commitment for COP26  

 

Bankers for Net Zero is an initiative leading 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 initiative is made up of the APPG on Fair Business Banking, Volans and Re:Pattern.

The Bankers for Net Zero proposed commitment framework is the most ambitious set of climate change commitments for bankers to date and urges banks to set a clear date for net zero climate emissions, commit to divesting from fossil fuels and actively advocate for intervention to accelerate the transition to zero emissions:

  1. #StateTheDate: Set a clear target for Net Zero climate emissions no later than 2050 
  2. Strategic approach: Publish, implement and continuously review a comprehensive strategy 
  3. Disclose the scenario used as a basis for climate targets 
  4. Transparent Review: Publicly measure ourselves against commitments on a yearly basis 
  5. Clear path: Set out a clear trajectory for how activities will be decarbonised 
  6. Divest: #StateTheDate for the end to all financing of all fossil fuels and deforestation-linked lending 
  7. Public Policy Alignment: Actively advocate for interventions to accelerate transition to net zero 
  8. Innovation: Prioritise support for innovation and emerging approaches to achieving net zero

These benchmark pledges will push banks to actively engage with their business customers’ pathway to net zero and create the conditions for them to thrive. 

Bankers for Net Zero recently appointed a 16-strong steering committee to provide guidance, review policy and challenge the level of net zero ambitions. Its members include representatives from the initiative’s participating banks – Barclays, Triodos, ClearBank, Ecology, Handelsbanken and Tide – plus representatives from UNEP Finance Initiative, COP26 Champions Team and Impact Investment Institute (see below for full list).

Over the coming months, Bankers for Net Zero, alongside its stellar steering committee, counting experts like Nick Robins, UNEPFI, and COP26 lead Nigel Topping, will continue the work of the initiative to helping clarify the role banks can play with the help of regulation and policy. Its aim is to allow the banking industry to step up into its important role in driving the entire economy and society to net zero, by bringing clarity and focus within the banking sector through coherent discussions about what this means for banking and its relationship with the wider business community.

 

Notes

The APPG on Fair Business Banking is one of the largest and most influential APPGs in parliament, the group has 17 officers and has a membership of over 116 MPs and peers. It has led the field in the creation of a dispute resolution service for businesses, and works effectively at executive level with industry, government, parliament and regulators to facilitate and implement changes that foster improvements in trust, co-operation and productivity between businesses and the banking sector. Website: www.appgbanking.org.uk 

Volans is a think-tank and advisory firm operating at the leading edge of sustainability and innovation to catalyse systemic change. Founded by the ‘Godfather of the Sustainability movement’ John Elkington in 2008, Volans helps business leaders make sense of the emergent future to unlock the potential of their organisation and create opportunities in the face of exponential planetary challenges. Website: www.volans.com 

Re:Pattern catalyses business model innovation for sustainability by working across diverse networks and stakeholder ecosystems – creating new pathways for the flow of finance. Led by the former Strategy Director for Triodos Bank and Banking Board member of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, Re:Pattern develops strategies, policies and practices to support sustainable finance globally. Website: www.repattern.org 

Full member list of the Bankers for NetZero Steering Committee:

  • Bevis Watts, Chief Executive, Triodos Bank UK
  • Charles McManus, Chief Executive, ClearBank Ltd.
  • 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: 

  • 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)