Mark Carney’s climate group is dragging its feet on green investments

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Mark Carney’s Climate Change Alliance has come under fire for “dragging its feet” at green investments in the latest blow to the initiative.

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), founded by the former governor of the Bank of England, has been accused in a new report of providing less funding for renewable energy than lenders who are not members of the climate group.

It comes despite Mr. Carney’s group’s announcement that funding for low-carbon energy needs to quadruple relative to fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas by the end of this decade to meet net-zero targets.

The report found that between 2016 and 2022, only 7 percent of bank financing for energy companies went to renewable sources.

Maaike Beenes, campaign manager at BankTrack, a charity that tracks bank financing activity, said: “As GFANZ co-chair Mark Carney has publicly acknowledged the need to rapidly increase the ratio of green financing to at least four times that of fossil fuel financing. , it is alarming that GFANZ members have actually funded less green energy than members outside the alliance.

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“To prevent the climate crisis from unfolding further, banks must stop dawdling and shift their funding from fossil fuels to green energy.”

Among UK lenders, only 2% of Barclays financing for energy companies went to renewables, while NatWest provided the most with 15%, according to the report.

It comes a month after investment giant Vanguard pulled out of Carney’s climate change alliance.

The world’s second-largest asset manager, which manages more than $7 trillion (£5.6 trillion) in assets, said the alliance’s full-blooded commitment to tackling climate change has led to “confusion over the positions of individual investment companies”.

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The Net Zero Asset Managers (NZAM) was launched in late 2020 to encourage asset managers to reach the net zero emissions target by 2050 and help limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Last year it joined GFANZ, the climate finance umbrella organization founded by Mr Carney. Vanguard will leave both groups.

At the time, it said: “We have decided to withdraw from NZAM so that we can provide our investors with the desired clarity about the role of index funds and how we think about material risks, including climate-related risks – and to make it clear that Vanguard is independent speaks about issues that matter to our investors.”

It comes as asset managers are increasingly coming under fire from Republican politicians in the US for their commitment to so-called ethical investing, with politicians accusing companies of pursuing an “awakened” agenda.

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A GFANZ spokesperson said: “This report does not provide a comprehensive picture of clean energy investments. For example, the report excludes 70 percent of power generation companies, most of which are responsible for the bulk of global wind and solar energy. Analysis by the IEA suggests that between 2021 and 2022 about 48 percent of total energy investment went to low-carbon energy supply.

“That would be impossible if GFANZ members did not fund the transition. Further, the comparison between GFANZ and non-GFANZ members really just compares global financial institutions to those in China – where renewable energy development has been extremely strong in recent years.

The report was commissioned by Sierra Club, Fair Finance International, BankTrack and Rainforest Action Network.

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