Banks must green up their act, for the sake of both planet and profit by Joe Ware

For banking to work for people and planet, there needs to be a fundamental rethink of the relationship between banks and society. Banks are the custodians of our money and we should have a voice in deciding what impact it has. Christian Aid’s new report The Big Shift urges banks to take a step towards a low-carbon world. Joe Ware of Christian Aid explains.


If you watch a TV ad for a UK high street bank these days, they are full of soft focus, half-speed footage of smiling, tanned pensioners vigorously enjoying their retirement, or shots of attractive young families surrounded by nature – all portraying vague notions of stability and future prosperity.

But a report from the charity Christian Aid reveals that high street banks are far from bastions of forward thinking. They are actually investing in some of the most polluting and environmentally damaging fossil fuel projects in the world, and missing out on genuinely sustainable financial opportunities.

The report is part of Christian Aid’s ongoing campaign to increase awareness around the environmental impact of banking, called The Big Shift.

Brian Caplen, editor of The Banker, has warned that as the global economy is decarbonised to avoid dangerous climate change, banks face some serious risks to their balance sheets. He says: “under clean energy scenarios, oil majors become rather less blue-chip to lend to than those engaged in the technologies of the future – for example renewable energy, electric cars, and insulation”. He also highlights the opportunities in this sector, with the investment needed for a decarbonised economy estimated at $1,000bn globally each year.

Read the full article here.

Courtesy of The colour of Money – Triodos UK.