Investors need to use their money to ensure banks play a proactive role in the low carbon transition.
That’s according to a new report published by ShareAction, a group dedicated to using the “potential of investments to have a positive impact on savers, communities and the environment”.
The report makes a series of tough recommendations for banks – it says they need to stop providing financial services to clients who fail to transition to greener business models and cut out carbon intensive activities.
It goes as far as to say investors should divest entirely from companies that are dependent on coal.
The report also calls on banks to scale up financing of sectors and activities actively enabling and encouraging low carbon growth.
This can be done by lending money to sustainable projects or by bringing lobbying weight to bear in support of public policies to accelerate decarbonisation of the global economy.
António Simões, CEO of HSBC, said: “It is critical that the entire financial services industry really gets behind the global consensus on climate change achieved at COP21 in Paris.
“The important thing right now is that the climate agenda becomes an integral part of our day-to-day decision making process. Banks working to ensure the transition to a low carbon future is vital to achieve this aim.”
Southwark Council has announced it will divest its pension fund from fossil fuels.