A group of investors managing $11 trillion in assets has called on all banks to set tougher emissions targets. The call comes ahead of a meeting of world leaders on April 22-23, aimed at accelerating efforts to fight climate change.
The group, which includes Pimco, the world’s biggest bond investor, and Britain’s biggest asset manager, Legal & General Investment Management, said they wanted;lenders to set “enhanced” pledges to “decarbonize their lending books”.
A number of the world’s biggest banks have already said;they have an ‘ambition’ to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. However, the group noted that many have yet to specify how they plan to do so;and continue to fund heavy emitting activities.
“The problem we face today is that too many banks are failing to consider climate harm when they make financing decisions. Too much money is being;ploughed;into carbon-intensive activities that we so desperately need to move away from.”
As the US prepares to host the April 22-23 Leaders Summit on Climate, the investor group also said it wants banks to speed up their efforts, including by setting interim targets to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.
They added that “crucially”, banks also need to set “explicit criteria” for the withdrawal of financing to “misaligned” activities that “run counter to the net zero pathway of sectors and industries.”
The group of 35 investors, operating through the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, said it had opened talks with 27 of the world’s largest banks. The group expects to expand the list over time.
US, China agree to cooperate on climate crisis with urgency
Earlier, the US and China, the world’s two biggest carbon polluters, agreed to cooperate to curb climate change with urgency.
A joint statement by the two countries revealed the agreement was reached by;US special envoy for climate, John Kerry and his Chinese counterpart, Xie Zhenhua after talks in Shanghai.
The statement also noted that the two countries “are committed to cooperating with each other;and with other countries to tackle the climate crisis, which must be addressed with the seriousness and urgency that it demands.”
China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter, followed by the United States. The two countries pump out nearly half of the fossil fuel fumes experts say, are warming the planet’s atmosphere.
Addressing reporters in Seoul, Kerry acknowledged the language in the statement is “strong”. He also noted that the two countries agreed on “critical elements on where we have to go”, and called for “action.”
“I learned in diplomacy that you don’t put your back on the words, you put on actions. We all need to see what happens.”
Kerry also revealed he and Chinese officials had a lot of discussions on how to accelerate a global energy;transition by reducing the usage of coal.
“I have never shied away from expressing our views shared by many, many people;that it is imperative to reduce coal, everywhere.”
Meanwhile, US President, Joe Biden has invited 40 world leaders, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, to the April 22-23 summit. The US and other countries are expected to announce more ambitious national targets for cutting carbon emissions ahead of or at the meeting.
They are also expected to announce or pledge financial help for climate efforts in less wealthy nations.
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