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27 Oct 2021

UN Alerted G20 to Ensure the Finance Sector's Climate Commitment are Solid

The Index Today

On Wednesday, the United Nations called the attention of the world's biggest economies to make sure that the net zero commitments made by financial institutions were strong, backed by science and if they ended financing for new fossil fuel projects.

The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) has given guidance to the G20 on the issue and comes days before the start of upcoming climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland.

According to the Reuters report, in a report for the G20 as it meets ahead of the talks, UNEP FI laid out 11 recommendations for policymakers as they consider how best to oversee the industry efforts to help cut greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century. There are concerns some of the current pledges are too weak after a landmark report from a U.N. climate panel in August that issued a "code red for humanity", urging faster action from countries to curtail emissions.

Jesica Andrews, investment lead at the UN EPFI, told Reuters, "In the last two years we've just seen an incredible explosion of net-zero commitments."

"This is really the first time we've done a state of the art assessment and put forward really concrete recommendations on how a financial institution, specifically, sets a net-zero target that is credible."

"What is challenging is how you define that science, and that's what this paper does; it lays out how the science should be applied to make sure that commitment is credible," Andrews added.
"If policymakers want to get behind this and they want to see more comparability, this is what we need to be asking financial institutions to do," she added.
"This would include, for example, the immediate cessation of any new fossil fuel investments, and rapid decommissioning of remaining fossil fuel production as indicated by the scenarios," the report said.
"We have a lot of portfolio level targets, a lot of commitments to net zero at the high level, but (they are) not drawing that down to the sector level, which is what's going to make a difference in the real economy," Andrews said.

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