Leading responsible banks pledge to quit coal as climate summit approaches (Pressrelease BankTrack)

Co-operative Bank and Triodos Bank bring Paris Pledge signatories to 18

19 November 2015, Nijmegen

Today the UK’s Co-operative Bank and Netherlands-based Triodos Bank became the latest banks to confirm they will continue to steer clear of providing finance for coal mining and coal power, by signing BankTrack’s Paris Pledge. [1]   First signed by six banks in early September, today’s commitment from two of Europe’s leading responsible banks brings the total number of Paris Pledge signatories to 18, from ten countries around the world. The 18 signatories to date collectively have over EUR 85 billion in assets under management.   Less than two weeks before the United Nations Climate Summit in Paris, a broad civil society coalition of over 160 organisations including Oxfam, Greenpeace and 350.org continues to call on the world’s top banks to end their coal financing and focus instead on the $13.5 trillion of energy saving and low carbon investments that the International Energy Agency deems necessary over the next 15 years. [2]    The most recent signatories include:

  • Alternative Bank Schweiz (Switzerland)
  • Beneficial State Bank (USA)
  • Ecology Building Society (UK)
  • Folkesparekassen (Denmark)
  • GLS (Germany)
  • JAK (Sweden)
  • La Nef (France)
  • Merkur Cooperative Bank (Denmark)
  • NewB (Belgium)
  • ProCredit Bank (Germany)
  • The Co-operative Bank (UK)
  • Triodos Bank (Netherlands)

They join ASN Bank from the Netherlands, Banco Fie from Bolivia, Ekobanken from Sweden, New Resource Bank from California, and Ethikbank and Umweltbank from Germany to make up the 18 signatories.   Catalina von Hildebrand, BankTrack’s Paris Pledge campaign coordinator, commented: “With the climate rhetoric of large banks now hotting up before the Paris Climate Summit, often focusing on everything but their own fossil fuel portfolio, it’s great to see these 18 banks taking the lead for the banking sector and signing the Paris Pledge. Their step confirms that real climate action means clearly saying no to coal.   The Co-operative Bank is the first high street bank in the UK to sign the Pledge to date. Laura Carstensen, chair of the bank’s Values and Ethics Committee, said: “As the only UK Bank with a customer led ethical policy, which includes a commitment not to finance the extraction or production of fossil fuels, we are delighted to sign the Paris Pledge, to stop the financing of coal powered energy production. The impact of global climate change is an issue that is a major concern to our customers, which is why we don’t provide banking services to any business or organisation whose core activity contributes to the damage being caused to the environment.”   BankTrack, with support from over 160 global organisations and over 10,000 individual supporters, is calling on all private sector banks to publicly commit to rule out financing for coal mining and power by doing the Paris Pledge.

For further inquiries and interview requests, please contact:                                     Catalina von        Hildebrand, Paris Pledge campaign coordinator, BankTrack.          Tel:  0031 654942649; Email: catalina@banktrack.org