Through the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), over $130 trillion of private capital is committed to transforming the economy for net zero.1 These commitments, from over 450 firms across 45 countries, can deliver the estimated $100 trillion of finance needed for net zero over the next three decades.
To support the deployment of this capital, the global financial system is being transformed through 24 major initiatives for COP26 that have been delivered for the summit. This work has significantly strengthened the information, the tools and the markets needed for the financial system to support the transformation of the global economy for net zero.
New analysis, commissioned by the UN High Level Climate Action Champions, finds that the private sector could deliver 70% of total investments needed to meet net zero goals.2
In its progress report published today, GFANZ announces that financial sector commitments to net zero now exceed $130 trillion, a 25-fold increase under the UK and Italian Presidency.3
Now firms across the entire financial spectrum – banks, insurers, pension funds, asset managers, export credit agencies, stock exchanges, credit rating agencies, index providers and audit firms – have committed to high ambition, science-based targets, including achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the latest, delivering their fair share of 50% emission reductions this decade, and reviewing their targets towards this every five years. All firms will report their progress and financed emissions annually.
The progress report also outlines the ambitious body of work underway – led by GFANZ CEOs – to address some of the biggest climate finance challenges, including defining net zero pathways for carbon-intensives sectors, aligning on what constitutes a robust transition plan for corporates and financial institutions, and a sector-wide plan to mobilise capital needed for decarbonisation in emerging markets. Collectively, this work will accelerate the implementation of net zero commitments and help to rapidly scale capital flows to support the net zero transition.
It comes as UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced today new requirements for firms to publish net zero transition plans setting out how they will decarbonise through 2050. This follows calls from GFANZ for G20 countries to implement policies to unlock and accelerate capital to support the transition, including mandatory net zero transition plans.4
Already, firms are turning ambition into action that will align their portfolios with 1.5°C. Over 90 of the founding institutions of GFANZ have already delivered on setting short-term targets, including 29 asset owners that have committed to reducing portfolio emissions by 25-30% by 2025, as well as 43 asset managers that have published targets for 2030 or sooner.5 And the first targets have also been published by Net Zero Banking Alliance members.
The 24 other major finance initiatives, led by Mark Carney as part of the private finance priorities for COP26, will help transform the financial architecture by mainstreaming and scaling: climate-related reporting; climate risk management; climate-related investment returns and the mobilisation of private finance to emerging and developing economies.6
Today, the IFRS Foundation, the international accounting standard body, announces the establishment of a new International Sustainability Standards Board to develop globally consistent climate and broader sustainability disclosure standards for the financial markets. This work has been welcomed by Finance Ministers from over 50 countries stretching across 6 continents and follows support from the G7 and others to make climate disclosures mandatory.
Through the work of the Network for Greening the Financial System climate risk management is also being transformed. Thirty-eight central banks, in countries comprising 67% of the world’s emissions, have committed to climate-related stress tests to review the resilience of the world’s largest financial firms in the face of several climate-related risks. And 33 central banks and supervisors, representing 70% of the world’s emissions, have committed to issuing guidance to firms on managing climate-related financial risks.
And to measure more accurately the alignment of lending, investment and underwriting with net zero, the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) has published guidance on metrics, targets and transition plans.
Finally, for COP26, GFANZ Co-Chair Mark Carney is publishing a new plan on how to scale private capital flows to emerging and developing economies. This includes the development of country platforms to connect the now enormous private capital committed to net zero with country projects, scaling blended finance through MDBs and developing high integrity, credible global carbon markets.7
GFANZ is supporting these mobilisation efforts and has identified an initial set of five catalytic initiatives to accelerate the transition in these countries, based on their scalability and potential impact. In doing so, GFANZ has committed to bring together technical expertise and balance sheets to scale capital commitments ahead of COP27.8
GFANZ is taking a number of measures to accelerate the global transition to net zero beyond COP26 with new leadership, announcing that UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions and Race to Zero Ambassador Michael Bloomberg will join UN Special Envoy Mark Carney as co-chair of GFANZ. Mary Schapiro, Head of the Secretariat for the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures and former Chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, will be the vice-chair. They join UN High Level Champion Nigel Topping in the GFANZ leadership team. A new permanent secretariat will have a presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Asia. GFANZ also unveils it will periodically report on its work to the G20’s Financial Stability Board.
Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance and COP26 Private Finance Advisor to PM Johnson said:
“The architecture of the global financial system has been transformed to deliver net zero. We now have the essential plumbing in place to move climate change from the fringes to the forefront of finance so that every financial decision takes climate change into account. Only this mainstream focus can finance the estimated $100 trillion of investment needed over the next three decades for a clean energy future.”
“The rapid, and large-scale, increase in capital commitment to net zero, through GFANZ, makes the transition to a 1.5°C world possible. To seize this opportunity, companies must deliver robust transition plans and governments set predictable and credible policies. This will give finance the confidence to invest, pulling forward climate actions and smoothing the transition to net zero, driving growth and jobs upwards, and forcing emissions downwards. Let’s work together to seize this opportunity.”
Nigel Topping, UN High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26 said:
“To keep 1.5°C within reach, we need the owners, managers, lenders, and underwriters of capital to realign their business models with the climate science. The core of the financial system is now publicly committed to that task. And it will have a ripple effect across the global economy. Now we need governments to help get the job done, by setting the ambitious policies that can unlock, accelerate and help direct the investment to where it’s needed most.”
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:
“I’m proud that under the UK’s leadership, the number of financial firms committed to Net Zero plans has tripled, with the assets now covered totalling $130 trillion. Harnessing the trillions of dollars controlled by these companies in the fight against climate change is crucial. So I’ve announced new requirements for firms to publish their net zero transition plans. Together we can provide the cash the world needs to stop catastrophic climate change.”
Michael R. Bloomberg, Co-Chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero said:
“Winning the battle against climate change will require vast amounts of new investment and the majority will have to come from the private sector. Leaders in finance have strong incentives to act, and under Mark Carney and Nigel Topping’s leadership, GFANZ has grown to include some of the largest financial institutions in the world. We look forward to building on this progress in the next phase of the alliance’s work, by creating the tools and industry wide coordination we need to turn commitments into action and speed up the transition to a net-zero global economy.”
Klaas Knot, Vice Chair of the Financial Stability Board, said:
“An orderly transition of the financial sector to meeting net zero commitments supports financial stability. So, we look forward to regular updates to the FSB on the progress of GFANZ, as part of the FSB’s broader outreach in taking forward its roadmap to address financial risks from climate change.”
1 The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is a global coalition of leading financial institutions in the UN’s Race to Zero that is committed to accelerating and mainstreaming the decarbonisation of the world economy and reaching net zero emissions by 2050. It provides a practitioner-led forum for financial firms to collaborate on substantive, crosscutting issues that will accelerate the alignment of financing activities with net zero and support efforts by all companies, organisations, and countries to achieve the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement. To ensure credibility and consistency, access to GFANZ is grounded in the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, and entry requirements are tailored to the activities of the diverse firms represented. Further details can be found on https://www.gfanzero.com
2 Analysis undertaken by Vivid Economics. More detail found here: https://www.gfanzero.com/netzerofinancing
3 The full report The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero: Our progress and plan towards a net-zero global economy can be found here: https://assets.bbhub.io/company/sites/63/2021/11/GFANZ-Progress-Report.pdf
4 The Call to Action can be found here: https://assets.bbhub.io/company/sites/63/2021/10/GFANZ-call-to-action.pdf.
5All members of the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance or the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Manager Alliance. Source: https://www.unepfi.org/news/industries/investment/net-zero-asset-owner-alliance-members-to-cut-portfolio emissions-25-30-by-2025/ and https://www.netzeroassetmanagers.org/net-zero-asset-managers-initiative-signatories disclose-interim-targets-with-over-a-third-of-assets-managed-in-line-with-net-zero
6 Full details can be found in the Notes to Editors.
7 More details can be found here: https://www.gfanzero.com/