Exclusive: Four banks quit initiative assessing climate targets
Four major banks, including Standard Chartered Plc and HSBC Plc, have quit a United Nations-backed initiative to scrutinise climate targets set by corporations, according to people familiar with the matter.
The lenders have abandoned efforts for the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to validate their goals because of concerns it could hinder their ability to continue financing fossil fuels, the sources said.
Some of the banks, which also include Societe Generale SA and ABN Amro Bank NV, have also raised concerns that SBTi's greenhouse gas emissions target-setting demands are too hard to meet, the sources added.
To justify their departures, which happened separately and over the past year, some of the banks cited their membership of another United Nations-backed grouping, the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), which is less prescriptive and allows lenders to continue to finance fossil fuels as long as they make progress on their emissions. Many lenders say they should finance fossil fuels as long as economies depend on them.