21 Apr 2021
NatWest Group becomes Net-Zero Banking Alliance founding member
The bank also confirms its ambition to reach net zero carbon on its financed emissions by 2050.
NatWest Group has become one of 43 banks globally to join the Net Zero Banking Alliance, a coalition of financial services companies that have pledged to work together to help deliver the Paris Agreement.
As the banking sponsor of the COP26 climate summit, NatWest Group’s membership of this global alliance demonstrates its commitment to work collaboratively with its peers, policy makers and other stakeholders to play its part in bringing about significant change at speed and to help build a more climate-resilient economy.
Alison Rose, Chief Executive of NatWest Group, said: “NatWest Group is proud to be one of the UK’s founding members of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance. This further demonstrates our ambition to be the country’s leading bank in helping to address climate change, one of the biggest shared challenges of our time.
“We have already committed to halve the impact of our financed emissions by 2030 and we are now joining the ‘Business Ambition to 1.5C’, cementing our ambition to reach net zero before 2050.
“We are pleased to be working with the other founding members under the leadership of Mark Carney, highlighting the important role the banking sector has to play in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy.”
The Net Zero Banking Alliance is one of the financial services sector coalitions being brought under the banner of the new Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), spearheaded by Mark Carney, the UK Prime Minister's Finance Advisor for COP26 and UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance.
To demonstrate NatWest Group’s position as the UK’s leading bank helping to address the climate challenge, Alison Rose, the bank’s chief executive officer, will join leaders from HSBC, Morgan Stanley and the UNEP FI on a high-profile, virtual panel event at the GFANZ launch at 4pm BST today. Other speakers at this online event include US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, and the UK’s Chancellor, Rishi Sunak.
NatWest Group has signed up to the Net Zero Banking Alliance commitments, which includes transitioning all operational and financed emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest. The bank had previously said it would halve the climate impact of its financing activity by 2030, having reached net zero carbon on its own emissions last year.
Coutts, which is part of NatWest Group, has also today joined the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, bringing its membership to 87 members. with assets under management representing over $37 trillion.
Earlier this year, the NatWest Group became the first UK major bank to publish analysis of its financed emissions of oil and gas extraction, automotive manufacturing and agriculture sectors as well as to residential mortgage properties, which represent 45% of its loan book. It will continue to analyse the rest of its financing this year.
In November last year, the bank signed by to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) guidance methodology for financial institutions to set science-based targets to align its lending and investment activities with the Paris Agreement.
Climate change has been a key priority for NatWest Group since the bank unveiled its purpose-led strategy last February. It joined the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) in 2020. The CCCA sets out how banks will align their services and lending with the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The bank is also a member of the Financial Services Task Force of the Sustainable Markets Initiative.
As a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, the bank remains committed to aligning its strategy with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The bank’s climate ambition strives to make a positive contribution towards SDGs 7 (affordable and clean energy), 13 (climate action) and 17 (partnerships for the goals).