50-Plus Banks Pledge to Measure Climate Impacts of Investments

More than 50 financial institutions, representing $2.9 trillion in assets, have pledged to disclose the climate impacts of their investments and loans, measuring the greenhouse gas emissions generated by each of the projects they fund, several news outlets reported.

The initiative, the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), aims to help banks determine if their actions are working to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, such as directing funds to renewable energy or climate resiliency projects. The financial institutions will assess the carbon footprints of everything from sovereign bonds, to mortgages, to real estate and corporate debt, Climate Home News reported. Signatories include the U.S.-based Amalgamated Bank and the Dutch ASN and Triodos Banks, among others.

“A new sustainable financial sector is being built, but it’s not happening nearly fast enough,” Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said in a statement. “Financial disclosure and sustainable investing must go mainstream.”

The announcement of the new banking initiative comes amid disappointing UN climate talks in New York City this week. None of the world’s major emitting countries announced new plans to aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This is despite widespread, youth-led protests across the globe this past weekend calling on international leaders to take action on global warming.