Dutch Financial sector on track with its Climate Commitment

89% of the financial institutions participating in the Dutch Financial Sector Climate Commitment have measuring the CO2 impact of their financing and investment activities. In addition, 51% of the signatories have drawn up action plans to contribute to the Paris Agreement. Just over half therefore are ahead of schedule and are implementing the agreements in the Climate Commitment sooner than planned. This was the conclusion of a progress report prepared by KPMG that the Ministry of Finance has sent to the House of Representatives on Thursday.

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The financial sector is willing and able to play an encouraging and supporting role in combating climate change, partly through the approximately 3,000 billion euro in loans and investments that it manages. To measure is to know: By measuring the CO2 impact of loans and investments, the institutions can apply concrete action plans (to be ready by 2022) to meet their CO2 reduction targets. This may involve the funding of energy-saving projects, engagement with businesses to urge them to improve their sustainability and/or  divestment in companies that are not doing enough to meet the Paris targets. Work is also progressing on developing a common vision for a “model action plan” on the basis of already existing best practices. Lastly, the measurement methodologies used will be improved to make the results of impact measurements better comparable.

Concrete contributions to the Paris Climate Agreement

The letter accompanying the progress report also states other actions by the signatories to contribute to the Paris Climate Agreement. Various banks, Dutch asset managers and insurers have now joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance or the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative. These international cooperative agreements represent trillions in assets and collectively will combat the emission of greenhouse gases to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Also, they will bring the various portfolios of businesses in line with net zero emission by 2050. Banks, asset managers, insurers and pension funds are actively engaged in dialogue with businesses regarding climate policy, including through the Climate Action 100+. This international cooperation of around 600 investors and asset managers aims to bring the operations of the 167 most carbon-intensive businesses in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, various companies have announced net-zero commitments, prompted by investors. One example of this is the energy company General Electric

Climate Work Conference on 16 November

The four sector associations are organising twice-yearly Climate Work Conferences as part of the Climate Commitment. The sixth Work Conference will be held on 16 November 2021. The aim is to share best practices and practical tips with the participants to accelerate the drive towards corporate sustainability. The Work Conference will deal with the physical consequences of climate change and the role that the financial sector canplay as an investor and financier. Working groups will be organised, following a panel discussion with the directors of the four sector associations.

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