Less than half of banks ‘taking climate change seriously’

Less than half of the world’s biggest banking groups have carried out a scenario analysis for if global temperatures rise by more than 2°C. That’s according to a new report […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Less than half of the world’s biggest banking groups have carried out a scenario analysis for if global temperatures rise by more than 2°C.

That’s according to a new report from Boston Common Asset Management, based on a survey of 59 financial institutions.

It suggests the majority of banks are failing to successfully integrate climate strategies and close down risks to the markets and economies they operate in.

The report says companies such as Barclays and Goldman Sachs are struggling to define a climate strategy at the heart of their business or set hard targets for the introduction of low carbon products and services.

As many as 61% haven’t restricted the financing of coal, with the global banking sector having provided $600 billion (£427bn) in financing for the largest 120 coal plant developers between 2014 and September 2017.

Lauren Compere, Managing Director at Boston Common Asset Management, said: “In some areas and in some individual banks, we are seeing encouraging steps forward but too often climate progress is skin deep at best.

“Investors want to see much wider implementation by banks of climate risk assessments or climate scenario analysis if they are to align their businesses with the Paris Agreement.”