In the News  |   11.01.2013  |

What's the carbon footprint of a bank loan? Sustainable finance groups follow the money

By Nathanael Massey, E&E News
November 1, 2013

On its own, the global financial sector has a limited carbon footprint -- compared with manufacturing, mining and construction, for example, it barely registers at all. Yet each of those "heavy" industries is backed by the resources of banks and financial institutions, and those monetary relationships tie financiers, to a degree at least, to the emissions they capitalize.

Some banks have tried to estimate the carbon intensity of their investments, but the efforts have been piecemeal. This week, a coalition of banks and sustainable finance groups headed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) launched an effort to harmonize the process and give financiers a common tool to track emissions from bank vault to smokestack.

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