UK financial institutions lead climate action charge

Pathway to Net Zero report shows UK companies meeting decarbonisation targets

Companies in the City of London financial district are leading the way when it comes to climate change. Reuters
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British financial institutions are leading the charge when it comes to climate change action, a report by the City of London Corporation and Climate Policy Initiative has revealed.

Pathway to Net Zero showed that British businesses have accelerated their efforts to move away from fossil fuel investment and were actively supporting climate-related investment.

The report provides an overview of the progress made by the more than 550 members of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, a coalition of institutions committed to accelerating the “decarbonisation of the economy”.

It revealed the UK was a leader in target-setting, with all UK-based GFANZ members having adopted a climate target – a sharp rise from 15 per cent in 2020.

The study found that investment from UK GFANZ members in climate solutions had increased by 57 per cent between 2018 and 2020.

This includes investments that directly contribute to reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and climate adaptation, including renewable energy, carbon capture and storage technology.

The report will be officially presented by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Nicholas Lyons at the second annual Net Zero Delivery Summit on Wednesday.

The NZDS summit, which is being hosted in association with Egypt's Cop27 presidency, marks the halfway point between the previous climate conference and the forthcoming Cop28 in the UAE.

It will focus on how climate change can be tackled in a fair and inclusive way, particularly in developing countries.

Mr Lyons said it was “no surprise” that UK financial firms were leading the way on fulfilling its climate commitments.

He said that over the past decade, the UK’s financial services have been creating the product innovations that have been “instrumental” in delivering carbon-neutral initiatives.

“But there is still more to do if we’re going to avoid the worst effects of climate change,” he said.

“That is why I’m proud to be hosting the second Net Zero Delivery Summit alongside our Egyptian partners.

“The financial service sector has a crucial role to play in unlocking the private capital needed for the world to transition to net zero.”

Mohamed Nasr, Egypt's chief climate negotiator and director of the Department of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, said that the conference will focus on a “just transition” – one of the priorities of Cop27.

“Just transition is a crucial pillar for delivering on the needed at scale and ambitious climate action, one of the key elements recognised in the Paris Agreement and a core principle within the UNFCCC process,” he said.

A just transition would ensure global and local climate action “protects the planet, people and the economy”.

Updated: May 23, 2023, 9:47 PM