Deutsche Bank, Triodos and Commerzbank have joined a group of 16 financial services firms, representing assets of more than EUR 5.5 trillion, operating in Germany who have signed a pledge today to align their credit and investment portfolios with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement is a multi-nation pact developed by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to combat climate change. The agreement’s main goal is to limit the global temperature increase in this century to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to work toward limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees.

This initiative aims to contribute to climate protection and to support the sustainable, future-oriented development of the economy. According to the joint statement, today’s announcement brings the German financial sector closer to the goal set by the German Federal Government at the beginning of 2019 of making Germany one of the leading locations for sustainable finance.

The signatories have pledged to align their respective products and services, as well as their commitments and initiatives, in order to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees and to strive for  economy and society.

As part of the initiative, by the end of 2022, each signatory will develop and introduce mutually accepted methods for measuring the climate impact of their credit and investment portfolios and then manage them in accordance with national and international climate targets. Additionally, the companies will add disclosure detailing emissions associated with their credit and investment portfolios.

The impetus for this commitment came from a group of financial institutions initiated by Netherlands-based Triodos Bank in conjunction with the WWF banking working group.

Georg Schürmann, Managing Director at Triodos Bank said:

“The finance industry has an important role in transforming the economy to deal with the global climate crisis. In addition to international initiatives such as the UN Agreement on Climate Action, we also support national initiatives such as those already in the Netherlands and Spain. We are therefore delighted to be able to contribute to the German commitment.”

Christian Sewing, Deutsche Bank Chairman of the Board, added:

“Banks play a crucial role in the fight against climate change, because it is up to us to provide the funds for the transformation of the global economy through financing and investment products. We accept this challenge.”

Signatories companies include BNP Paribas Germany, Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Edekabank, Evangelische Bank, GLS Bank, HypoVereinsbank, ING, Hannoversche Kassen, KD-Bank, LBBW, Standard Chartered, Steyler Bank, Triodos Bank, UmweltBank, and Verka.