Banks worth $47 trillion adopt new UN-backed climate, sustainability principles

Gerardo Pesantez/World Bank High rises and hotel buildings in Punta Pacifica, Panama City, Panama, which has one of the largest banking sectors in Central America.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Banks collectively with more than $47 trillion in assets, or a third of the global industry, signed up on Sunday to new United Nations-backed responsible banking principles in a massive boost for climate action and the shift from “brown to green” models of economic growth.

In the Principles, launched one day ahead of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York, banks commit to strategically align their business with the goals of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and massively scale up their contribution to the achievement of both.

“The UN Principles for Responsible Banking are a guide for the global banking industry to respond to, drive and benefit from a sustainable development economy,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the launch event, adding that they also “create the accountability that can realize responsibility, and the ambition that can drive action.”

By signing up to the Principles, banks said they will among other goals, aim to “increase our positive impacts, while reducing the negative impacts, and managing risks to people and the environment from our products and services.”

“How you, as business leaders, respond can be a defining moment for our global goals. Only public-private cooperation can deliver sustainable development,” Mr. Guterres said.

He challenged the 130 Founding Signatories and over 45 of their CEOs gathered for the event to not only align their business goals with the SDGs, the UN’s blueprint for tackling poverty, protecting the environment and ensuring a fairer world for all, but also to support gender equality, to invest in climate action and to disinvest from fossil fuels and pollution in general.

“We will rely on you to scale up financing to businesses that stimulate green growth,” the Secretary-general said, adding: “Place your bets on the green economy, not the grey economy, because the grey economy will have no future.”

Picking up that thread, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), told the bankers: “When the financial system shifts its capital away from resource-hungry, brown investments to those that back nature as solution, everybody wins in the long-term.”

The Principles were developed by a core group of 30 Founding Banks through an innovative global partnership between banks and the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

While action on climate change is growing, it is still far short of what is needed to meet the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement. Meanwhile, biodiversity continues to decline at alarming rates and pollution claims millions of lives each year.

Against this background, UNEP says that more ambition, backed by a step change in investment from the private sector, is needed to tackle these challenges and ensure that humanity lives in a way that ensures an equitable share of resources within planetary boundaries.

The banking and private sectors can benefit from the investment they put into backing this transition. It is estimated that addressing the SDGs could unlock $12 trillion in business savings and revenue annually and create 380 million more jobs by 2030.           

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Multilateralism’s ‘proven record of service’ is focus of first-ever International Day

Property regimes for international couples in Europe: new rules apply in 18 Member States as of today

Why Eurozone can afford spending for growth

The refugee crisis brings to light EU’s most horrible flaws and nightmares

It’s time to disrupt Human Resources if we want talent fit for the digital age

EU commits €9 million in humanitarian aid for the most vulnerable families in Myanmar

The 10 most common types of plastic choking Europe’s rivers

A digital tax sounds like a great idea. Here’s why it might not be universally popular

Island nations on climate crisis frontline ‘not sitting idly by’

The European Green Deal sets out how to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, boosting the economy, improving people’s health and quality of life, caring for nature, and leaving no one behind

Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €127 million to boost EU’s largest ever humanitarian programme

Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach

Ten reasons to be optimistic in 2019

THE COMMITTEES: From the colonies to the space race – past, present, future converge in Fourth Committee

Why Sweden’s cashless society is no longer a utopia

Light at the end of the Eurozone tunnel

Conflict diamonds and climate change: Cooperate, don’t compete over natural resources urges Guterres

Syria’s Idlib ‘on the brink’ of a nightmare, humanitarian chiefs warn, launching global solidarity campaign

Commission deepens criticism on German economic policies

Mobile 360 Africa 11-13 July 2017

Human rights breaches in Bangladesh, Cuba and Vietnam

European Parliament marks EU accession prospects for Serbia and Kosovo

Eurozone dignitaries play with people’s life savings

These are the world’s healthiest nations

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

Youth leaders share positive visions of the future, as Guterres launches UN75 in New York

The new assembly lines: Why AI needs low-skilled workers too

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

5 reasons why biodiversity matters – to human health, the economy and your wellbeing

July was the hottest month ever – what does that actually mean?

Six children among 53 confirmed fatalities after Libya detention centre airstrikes: Security Council condemns attack

Future EU farm policy: Agriculture MEPs urge fair funding, no renationalisation

Joint UN-Red Cross appeal to end rising sexual violence as a weapon of war

How fungi could save the world

This tool shows you which cities will flood as ice sheets melt

Antitrust: Commission publishes study on the application of Interchange Fees Regulation

28 million elective surgeries may be cancelled worldwide: how non-COVID-19 medical care is suffering

Greece will probably stay in the Eurozone but at what cost?

UN allocates $20 million in emergency funding, as Cyclone Idai disaster unfolds

A day in the life of a Venezuelan migrant in Boa Vista, Brazil

Competition: The European Commission launches a process to address the issue of collective bargaining for the self-employed

Don’t take African generosity towards refugees for granted, says UN refugee chief

We need to measure innovation better. Here’s how

The most unlikely innovators are changing ICT for development – it’s time we took notice

The UK option: An overarching alternative for the whole Brexit options

Tackling youth unemployment through the eyes of a European entrepreneur

2014 budget: The EU may prove unable to agree on own resources

Iran protests: Live ammunition reportedly used, says UN human rights office

Brexit uncertainty keeps shaking the world’s financial markets

Coldplay stop touring to save the world: is pop music going sustainable?

JADE Spring Meeting Live Coverage: Entrepreneurial skills in the digital markets

Rohingya refugee shelters ‘washed away’ in Bangladesh monsoon rains: UN agency

Ursula von der Leyen: ‘We must not hold onto yesterday’s economy as we rebuild’

The end of Spitzenkandidat: EU leaders concluded unexpectedly on EU top jobs

UN recorded 64 new allegations of sexual exploitation or abuse in the past three months

Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders ready for talks with UN chief on improved relations

Storms and snow in Lebanon worsen plight for Syrian refugees

COVID-19: How leaders can create a new and better normal

The Internet of Bodies is here. This is how it could change our lives.

Two out of every five American couples now meet online

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s