Wednesday 21 April 2021 12:01 am

Financial services leaders team up to launch net zero alliance

Leading financial services firms have today announced the launch of a new alliance to reach net zero emissions ahead of President Biden’s climate summit. 

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) will bring together existing and new net zero initiatives and will be made up of 160 of the world’s biggest banks, asset managers and insurers with assets in excess of $70 trillion. 

It has been organised by former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney who has been appointed the Prime Minister’s Finance Advisor for COP26, alongside John Kerry and Janet Yellen. 

Their aim is to raise the coordination of net zero initiatives in the financial services industry, the alliance said. All member alliances have to be accredited by the UN Race to Zero campaign and so use science-based guidelines to reach net zero emissions. 

Among these are setting a 2030 interim target as well as a commitment to reporting and accounting in line with the UN’s campaign. 

Climate campaigners have already raised allegations of greenwashing among these guidelines, questioning whether the 2030 target is mandatory. Similarly questions relating to reducing fossil fuel financing will need to be addressed. 

The Net Zero Banking Alliance is the newest net zero alliance and is made up of 43 of the world’s leading banks. 

It comes just days after a leading investor group called on banks to set tougher net zero targets. The group, which includes Aviva Investors and Legal & General Investment Management, urged banks to crase activities through fossil fuel financing. 

“Uniting the world’s banks and financial institutions behind the global transition to net zero is crucial to unlocking the finance we need to get there – from backing pioneering firms and new technologies to building resilient economies around the world,” the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said. 

Carney added: “Most fundamentally, GFANZ will act as the strategic forum to ensure the financial system works together to broaden, deepen, and accelerate the transition to a net zero economy.”