Principles for Responsible Banking
On September 22 2019, the United National Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) launched the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRBs), an inititive that encourages banks to align their operations with the social and environmental commitments expressed in the Paris Climate Agreement and the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals. BankTrack plans to monitor the implementation of the PRBs, so that they indeed deliver on what they promise.
Banks and forests
BankTrack's Banks and Forest campaign focuses on the financiers of important initiators of deforestation, with the aim to push banks to act more responsibly regarding their forest-related investments. The long-term goal of our work is to help ensure that private sector banks no longer finance companies, projects and business activities that cause a large negative impact on forests. We focus primarily on the pulp & paper and palm oil sectors.
Banks and human rights
BankTrack's human rights campaign pushes for banks to fully meet their responsibilities to respect human rights and human dignity across their operations. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights provide the clearest expression yet of these responsibilities. Since 2011 our campaign has focused on benchmarking banks, challenging finance for human rights abuses and engaging for better international standards.
Banks and coal
Time to end the banking sector's life support for the coal industry. From concerns over air pollution and acid rain to its destructive impact on the climate, coal has been recognised as the dirtiest, most dated and most inefficient fossil fuel option. It is the most emissions intensive fossil fuel and the leading cause of climate change. Globally, coal-fired power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide - greater than tropical deforestation or oil use for transportation.
Banks, climate and energy
Banks, like all companies, produce greenhouse gases (GHG) directly from their activities, but their most important contribution to GHG emission is indirect, through the financing of clients and projects that generate GHG emissions. Banks also continue to play a key role as major financiers of the coal and oil and gas industry, effectively delaying the much needed shift away from a fossil fuel-based to an efficient and renewables economy. Banks must play their part in stopping climate change.
Equator Banks Act!
In 2016 BankTrack launched the Equator Principles Track and Chase Project ("EPTC"), aimed at strengthening public scrutiny of the activities of the Equator Principles Association and the implementation of the Equator Principles (EPs) by individual Equator Principles Financial Institutions (EPFIs). In 2017 BankTrack successfully campaigned for the Equator Principles Association to revise and update the EPs. The revision process, which began in 2018, is ongoing.