The finance sector will play a vital role in determining whether the world will successfully transition towards a low-carbon, sustainable economy. As an important stakeholder to the world’s economic actors, the finance industry can exert enormous influence by aligning investment and lending activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement and engaging their clients and investee companies to do the same.
While the UK financial sector’s national importance and its international reach is championed by the government and regulators, its ongoing role in financing the climate and nature emergency is not a matter of corresponding regulatory focus.
To date, neither the government nor relevant regulators have taken adequate action to address the global emissions financed and enabled by UK private financial institutions (FIs) and to ensure that they align their activities with the country’s climate ambitions and the goals of the Paris Agreement.
This report provides an indicative, up-to-date assessment of the size of the global carbon footprint that is financed by some of the largest and most systemically important entities in the UK’s financial sector, in other words, the UK’s ‘financed emissions’.
The results demonstrate that the UK’s financed emissions are extensive, likely representing one of the UK’s most significant contributions to climate change.