CNN Money: Four years ago, it was almost impossible to get financial institutions to attend an investor summit on climate risk. Today, some of the world’s largest banks have embraced the issue by focusing on research on the impact of global warming on investments, cutting their own greenhouse emissions and funding clean energy projects, according to a report released Thursday by Ceres.
However, a six-month study of the world’s 40 largest banks also found that only a few are integrating climate risks into their lending practices, and setting targets to reduce greeenhouse gas emissions in their lending portfolios.
“We’re seeing a different mindset across the board,” says Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres, a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations, which published the report, Corporate Governance and Climate Change: The Banking Sector. “They’ve gotten more involved because the debate has changed,” said Lubber. ” This is a capital market issue and a government issue.”
The pressure to address global climate change is coming from clients, employees, government and the banks’ own research, the study said. “It absolutely affects their bottom line,” said Lubber.