Following an invitation from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, a number of executives from some of the world’s largest banks have come together as members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative’s (SMI) Financial Services Task Force (FSTF).
The aim of the Task Force is to work on meaningful and actionable plans to help accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable future.
The financial services industry will play an important role in the transition to a net zero economy and recognising this, the FSTF member organisations have committed to mobilising finance, and work with customers to support their transition.
In coordination with other SMI Task Forces, the FSTF will focus its attention on the following areas ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in November 2021:
1. Net Zero carbon emissions: Building on the ongoing efforts of its members and the broader sector, the FSTF will look to define a credible pathway for how banks can achieve net zero. In partnership with clients and external stakeholders, the group will work to advance industry best practices, engage across industries to help accelerate the transition to a net zero economy and report publicly on the progress of this work in the lead up to COP26.
2. Accelerating investment into sustainable infrastructure: The FSTF aims to accelerate the flow of private investment into sustainable projects. The group will identify and recommend initiatives and solutions that will remove barriers and can scale investment into sustainable finance projects around the world.
3. Climate solutions: Carbon markets, coupled with overall emissions reductions, are a critical component in order to achieve a net zero economy. Building on the work of the Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets, the FSTF will support the development of a deep and liquid global market for carbon credits, generated by high quality projects, and provide a clear collective demand signal that finance stands ready to accelerate the flow of capital towards all forms of emissions reduction, avoidance and removal projects globally.
Chairman of the FSTF and group chief executive of HSBC, Noel Quinn said on behalf of the Task Force:
“Climate change is bigger than any institution or industry. In coming together, we recognise the critical role our organisations play in the fight against it. The Financial Services Task Force is committed to accelerating efforts within the banking sector, recognising its catalytic role across all industries, to move towards a net zero economy.”
The Financial Services Task Force operates as an industry sub-group of the SMI, and is chaired by Noel Quinn, group chief executive of HSBC. Its members are drawn from across the banking industry, and include Bank of America, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas, Citi, Coutts, Credit Suisse, Lloyds, Macquarie, NatWest Group and Standard Chartered Bank.