News update: Accelerating Action and Ambition, December 2020  

The Bankers For NetZero Mission

To accelerate the flow of finance towards a net zero-aligned recovery and to demonstrate UK banking sector leadership in the lead-up to COP26.

It is not just about financing green or greening finance — this is about how banks and businesses interact and work together to ensure that the transition to net-zero is efficient, rapid and fair. We investigate how financial institutions can take leadership and which legislative and regulatory frameworks are required to support this ambition. And crucially – how we ensure that businesses – particularly the UK’s 5.9m SMEs – are equipped for that journey.  

News: Stretching Ambitions on a Countdown to COP26

We are delighted to have been asked to be part of the UK Financial Coalition to set the objectives for the collective commitments for COP26 lead by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) .
The coalition is focused on mobilising financial institutions for climate action and collectively encouraging their stakeholders to set high ambition commitments from the financial sector at COP26. There are similar coalitions for every participating country or region in the world, and we are delighted to be part of a worldwide network setting ambitions for the banking sector.

Partners in the Coalition:

the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF), the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), United Nations Principles for Responsible Investing (UN PRI), Make Your Money Matter and Bankers for NetZero

Nigel Topping, COP26 High-level Climate Champion:

“Banks have been a bit late to the game on climate action. I really welcome the Bankers for Net Zero initiative because it’s time for banks to catch up.”

Focus 1: Retrofitting the Built Environment

The first Bankers for NetZero workstream focus area is Retrofitting of the Built Environment, which we have been exploring through a series of working group sessions, research and interviews.

We are thrilled to be partnering with the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) for this workstream to foster collaboration across industry, finance and government. Find out more about the partnership in this blog, and take a peek at our survey for businesses in the built environment, which is still open if you know anyone who would be interested in filling it out.

Earlier in the summer we hosted a joint webinar – Retrofits: A Quick Win for the Economy and the Environment Webinar, with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Energy Studies (PGES) featuring speakers from Green Finance Institute, CBI, UKGBC, banks and companies in the built environment sector. Watch the webinar here.

Richard Winder, Handelsbanken:

“Where the Bankers for NetZero initiative has already shown value is in training our gaze on a number of key issues, and in turn helping us identify the particular questions we need our colleagues’ input to address.”

Focus 2: Small And Medium Enterprise

In November we kicked-off our second workstream looking at how banks, regulators and policy makers can support the UK’s 5.9m SMEs to contribute to the move to a net-zero future.

Raising Awareness and Developing Policy

It has been a whirlwind six months. We are very pleased with the success of our kick-off event, public launch and of course the signing up of the initiative’s founding members: Barclays, Ecology Building Society, Handelsbanken, Tide, Triodos and our most recent member, ClearBank.

Our kick-off launch event featured contributions from the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen MP, COP26 Climate Champion, Nigel Topping, and Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Eric Usher amongst a stellar cast.
Our launch garnered coverage from (among others) the New York Times, Reuters, Yahoo Finance, the Financial post and
The coming months will include a series of private and public roundtable discussions and webinars in which we will explore the emerging themes including Fiduciary Duty in the Companies Act, Capital Requirements and the role a British Development or Green Investment Bank can play in the future of finance. Watch this space!

Announcing our Steering Committee

We are delighted to announce a stellar list for our Steering Committee and look forward to working with the Committee to set the direction on the future of the initiative.

  • Munish Datta, Director of Membership and Operations, UK Green Building Council
  • John Elkington, Founder, Volans (guest)
  • Paul Ellis, Chief Executive, Ecology Building Society
  • Dame Teresa Graham, Independent
  • Kevin Hollinrake MP, Co-chair of the APPG on Fair Business Banking
  • Charles McManus, CEO, ClearBank
  • Meryam Omi, Climate Action Champion, COP26
  • Elsa Palanza, Global Head of Sustainability and ESG, Barclays
  • Oliver Prill, Chief Executive, Tide
  • Kai Remco Fisher, Lead for Climate Change, UNEP Finance Initiative
  • Nick Robins, Professor in Practice of Sustainability, Grantham Research Institute
  • Nigel Topping, High Level Climate Action Champion, COP26
  • Bevis Watts, Chief Executive, Triodos Bank UK