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Global banking leaders commit to aligning their carbon footprint with Paris Agreement

Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of Vancity

Following the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) Summit in Vancouver, Vancity has committed to a concerted, global effort among banking institutions to track and monitor the carbon impact of their portfolio of loans and investments within a period of three years.

The Climate Change Commitment, otherwise known as the ‘3C initiative,’ reflects the need to correct our current environmental trajectory and aligns with the Paris Agreement goals to keep global temperature increases this century well below 2 degrees Celsius.

“We can’t afford to wait. You don’t have to look far on the West Coast to see the impact that climate change and rising sea levels will have on our communities,” says Tamara Vrooman, president and CEO of Vancity. “How financial institutions allocate capital will be pivotal in making sure we are part of the solution.”

The GABV intends to use the measurement methodology known as the Platform for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF) developed by a group of Dutch banks to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of their loans and investment portfolios. PCAF covers a number of relevant asset classes, including listed equity, project finance, mortgages, commercial real estate and corporate debt.

The initiative is part of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values’ larger commitment to spearhead positive change among the financial industry on pressing social and environmental issues. The participating institutions, who have combined assets of US $153 billion, intend to influence the wider banking sector by demonstrating that banks can assess and report on their greenhouse gas emissions. By doing so they plan to demonstrate to their stakeholders what their contribution is to keep the global increase in temperature within safe levels.

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