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“You can’t fix the climate without fixing finance”: our claim for #BankingonValues Day 2021


5 February 2022

  • On the eve of COP26, the world’s leading values-based banks call for structural change to address the climate emergency
  • 67 values-based banks in 40 countries celebrate the Banking on Values Day on 3 November to claim for a more sustainable and inclusive financial system

Amsterdam, 28 October 2021.. On the eve of the UN Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow (COP26), the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) is calling on the financial sector as a whole to act faster, go further, and be more coherent against climate change. Next 3 November, values-based banks celebrate the 8th edition of international #BankingOnValues Day to advocate for an ambitious approach to climate change.

Members of the GABV have pioneered and helped expand initiatives like the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), a harmonised, open-source tool to measure and disclose the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in loans and investments.

“You can’t fix the climate without fixing finance,” says Martin Rohner, Executive Director of the GABV. “Our members commit to measure emissions and reduce them in line with the Paris Agreement, or faster. This means implementing strict exclusion criteria and divesting from non-essential activities that are harmful. But this still is not enough. The financial sector as a whole must act faster, go further, and be more coherent’, says Rohner.

The current discussion about climate finance is too narrowly focused on mitigation and risk management, states the GABV in its Position Paper on Climate Finance. “We aim for a holistic understanding of the impact of climate change upon our clients and communities and how we can help them transform and adapt,” explains Rohner.

A better response to Climate Change

“Mobilise finance” is one of the four objectives of the UN Climate Change Conference taking place in Glasgow. It aims to raise more than 100 billion dollars in “climate finance” per year to decelerate global warming.

As a movement of frontrunners in sustainable finance, many values-based banks are already tackling climate change through a comprehensive set of measures:

  • Avoiding harmful projects and activities such as fossil fuels and other greenhouse gas-intensive industries.
  • Enabling innovative projects and activities that help mitigate climate change or even sequester carbon.
  • Sensitizing their clients and helping them transform or adapt to climate change by providing capital, finance, know-how, and resources
  • Advocating for changing the framework conditions to better reflect the true price of climate change and send the right signals to markets.
  • Establishing transparency by measuring and publishing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement or even faster.

The GABV is calling regulators and policymakers in the mainstream financial sector to follow its lead in the transition to a low-carbon economy. To inspire this needed structural change, the GABV has created the site with some examples of transformative banking for a healthy climate, a fair economy, and inclusive society.

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