Published 1 year ago.
About a 3 minute read.
Image: Mikhail Nilov/Pexels
Bank.Green’s new Alliance, made up of 8 founding members, aims to fuel the global movement towards a more sustainable and climate-resilient financial sector.
Today, sustainable banking campaign group Bank.Green
launched its latest initiative, the Fossil Free Banking Alliance — a
fossil-free-certified group of banking institutions that will help make it
easier for climate-conscious individuals to move their money away from banks
that continue to finance the fossil fuel industry.
The initiative represents a growing group of financial institutions from around
the world that do not — and will not — finance fossil fuel companies or
projects. Before the Fossil Free Banking Alliance, there was no easy way to
establish which retail banks refuse to finance fossil fuels. Now, Bank.Green has
established a free, independent verification process that any bank can embark
upon. Successful applicants become Fossil Free Certified and join the alliance.
“There are a lot of fossil-free banks out there that don’t have a way of
shouting about it yet,” adds Zak Gottlieb, director and co-founder of
Bank.Green. “Fossil Free Certification is the simplest way to signal to
customers, professionals in the banking sector, and the general public that a
sustainability-conscious financial institution is putting its money where its
While more and more banks have begun to mobilize around climate change and have
made individual net-zero
their continued investment in polluting sources of
flies in the face of those pledges — and external pressure has continued to
mount for them to put their money where their mouths are. December saw a
promising move from British banking giant HSBC, which set out a detailed
to phase out its financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mining by 2030
in EU and OECD markets, and worldwide by 2040. Given HSBC’s
substantial footprint across Asia, with the region’s heavy reliance on coal
today and its rapidly growing energy demand, this could be an impactful move —
given the critical role HSBC can play in helping to finance the region’s energy
transition from coal to clean.
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But the grandaddy of all investors, BlackRock, continues to hedge its bets
on forgoing financing for fossil fuel
— in his annual CEO letter last month, Larry Fink expounded on the need to
decarbonize the economy, but not on immediate divestment from the sector.
In the meantime, individual investors and banking customers can now easily move
their money into banks whose practices align with their values. They can check
their bank’s track record with Bank.Green’s bank-checking
tool, or feel confident they’re
not continuing to fund the climate crisis with any of the founding members of
the Fossil Free Banking Alliance. It currently comprises eight banks — six
US-based institutions: Ando, Beneficial State
Bank, Clean Energy Credit
Union, Climate First
Bank, Self-Help Credit
Union and Virginia Community
Capital; as well as Green
Members of the alliance join a like-minded finance community, which aims to fuel
(pun intended) the global movement towards a sustainable and humane financial
sector. Furthermore, Fossil Free Certification helps banks to proudly broadcast
their values and increase visibility to climate-conscious customers, job-hunters
and data-driven consumer platforms.
Bank.Green has been guiding money out of fossil fuels since April 2021. Via its
and online resources, it continues to raise awareness of big finance’s role in
fueling, or averting, catastrophic climate change. The Fossil Free Banking
Alliance is a practical solution.
“For too long, traditional banks funneled trillions of dollars into the fossil
fuel industry without sharing that information with their customers,” says Ando
CEO JP McNeill. “We encourage others in the industry to do the right
thing and join us in being proudly Fossil Free Certified.”
Read more about the Fossil Free Banking Alliance at bank.green/certification.
Published Feb 9, 2022 1pm EST / 10am PST / 6pm GMT / 7pm CET