Paul Polman blasts banks for financing extra coal than inexperienced power

LONDON — Former Unilever CEO Paul Polman has blasted some giant banks for placing extra money into polluting industries than into renewable power. 

Chatting with CNBC’s Steve Sedgwick at local weather summit COP26 in Glasgow Tuesday, Polman mentioned: “We nonetheless see among the main banks doing extra fossil gas financing, coal financing than inexperienced power and that is a giant no-no.”

Sixty of the biggest banks collectively put $3.8 trillion into fossil gas corporations between 2016 and 2020, based on a bunch of local weather organizations named Banking on Local weather Chaos 2021.

Polman acknowledged that among the giant banks are transferring towards backing tasks that assist the transition towards zero emissions however mentioned this was financially, not ethically, pushed.

“Persons are beginning to notice that implementing the Sustainable Growth Objectives — which value $3 to $5 trillion a 12 months — is considerably lower than coping with these horrendous penalties of inaction. And the monetary market is definitely the primary one to grasp that. I do not suppose they’re transferring on ethical grounds, I wish to be trustworthy there, however they’re transferring on financial grounds,” he said.

Polman added that the oil and fuel trade must be helped to maneuver towards greener options. “The … excessive emitting industries that want to rework, we have to assist them. I do not suppose it serves something to chastise them … it simply does not work. You should be trying on the challenges that they’ve, additionally to replicate numerous stranding of their property which at the moment are within the worth of those corporations and assist them in that transition.”

The time period “stranded property” refers to fossil-fuel associated property comparable to coal and oil reserves which might be now not in a position to make monetary returns because the financial system strikes towards greener power. Mark Carney, the U.N.’s particular envoy on local weather motion and finance, mentioned monetary markets have to be revamped in order that monetary choices can take local weather change into consideration.

Carney is chairing a coalition of monetary companies named the U.N.’s Glasgow Monetary Alliance for Web Zero, which is aiming to hurry up a transition to cleaner power. Collectively, the banks handle greater than $90 trillion of property.

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“You now see with the Glasgow pledge that Mark Carney is main is that we’ve got practically $100 trillion, which is half the world’s cash, saying I wish to be web zero in 2050. Can we translate that to 2030 targets that are completely key? Can we translate that now into key actions?” Polman said.

Polman’s feedback come as among the giant banks have pledged to spend extra on financing carbon discount. Financial institution of America President Brian Moynihan mentioned Tuesday that the agency will spend $1 trillion towards reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. “To get there, we’ll present $150 billion in financing by way of 2030 over $1 trillion, to the trouble,” he mentioned at COP26.

BofA is a part of a job pressure known as the Sustainable Markets Initiative, which has launched a information for monetary companies companies to assist their shoppers attain net-zero emissions. Different members embody JPMorgan, Barclays and Credit score Suisse.

–    CNBC’s Sam Meredith and Catherine Clifford contributed to this report.


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