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Amalgamated Bank, Ecology Building Society and Triodos Bank issue a statement about the new NZBA Guidelines


13 March 2024

Amalgamated Bank, Ecology Building Society and Triodos Bank, members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, have released a joint statement on the updated Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) Guidelines. 

The Net Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) is a bank-led, UN-convened initiative that brings together a large network of banks committed to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. NZBA’s framework, guidance, and peer learning opportunities support members to design, set and achieve credible science-based net zero intermediate 2030 sectoral targets.

Since April 2021, over 140 banks from 44 countries representing USD 74 trillion have committed to reaching net zero goals by 2030. NZBA members have chosen to update and reinforce their climate commitments by voting to adopt a new version of the Guidelines for Climate Target Setting for Banks.

For the first time, the scope of targets will extend to include banks’ capital markets activities. The new guidelines will also add, update, and clarify technical language to reflect the evolution of practices, methodologies, and data availability in the last three years, including policy engagement and transition planning.

Amalgamated Bank (USA), Ecology Building Society (UK) and Triodos Bank (Netherlands, Belgium, UK, Spain and Germany) have issued a joint statement about the new NZBA guidelines. Read it in full below:


Joint Statement on the Updated NZBA Guidelines

We welcome the steps NZBA has made to advance the work of decarbonising the banking sector. It remains the only major, global commitment for the banking sector on target-setting committed to a 1.5℃ limit of global warming.

The updated Guidelines give much-needed direction on setting and publishing transition plans for the highest-emitting sectors including facilitated emissions in climate targets. However, the language used provides too much latitude for banks in deciding whether to take key steps that are central to credibly achieving portfolio alignment with science-based climate scenarios. By merely “encouraging” disclosure of policies for the highest emitting sectors, rather than requiring it, the Guidelines undermine the transparency and action necessary to ensure safer climate outcomes.

The reality is that we are not on track to stay within safe levels of warming and more needs to be done. Particularly the transition away from fossil fuels that has been agreed globally. The dominant economic and scientific climate scenarios make abundantly clear the need to end new fossil fuel expansion and rapidly phase out supply in favour of clean energy sources.

While the updated Guidelines represent progress since NZBA’s founding three years ago, we call upon banks inside and out of the Alliance to raise the bar in developing policies and disclosures for the highest emitting sectors and ensure a fair and fast transition to a liveable planet.

The work of banks must also be done in partnership with governments, which have the greatest impact on real economy emissions, and which are significantly behind on delivering a 1.5℃ world. We call on governments to more aggressively move to advance plans and policies that decarbonise the economy.

We appreciate the fact that all members of NZBA have an equal opportunity to influence the debate. As members of both the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) and NZBA, we have made progress by working together to contribute a strong science- and values-based voice during this process. We remain committed to actively engaging within NZBA to push for further progress.

Click here to download the updated NZBA Guidelines

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