May 23, 2022

SMBC Group’s updated climate policy still not aligned with 1.5℃ target

May 18, 2022 Japan

Read 350 Japan’s complete analysis of SMBC Group’s climate policy here.

Japan – On May 13, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC Group) announced “Strengthening Efforts against Climate Change” and “Opinion of SMFG’s Board of Directors on Shareholder Proposals”.

In April 2022, environmental NGOs submitted shareholder proposals calling for SMBC Group to strengthen its climate change measures. The NGOs have been engaging with the company for several years. Although its strengthened policy is the result of these efforts, it is still insufficient to meet the 1.5℃ target of the Paris Agreement. We will continue to ask other shareholders to support our proposals for strengthening the company’s management of climate-related risks. 

Eri Watanabe, Senior Campaigner of Japan, said;

“We welcome some progress made in the recent revised policy by SMBC Group in response to previous dialogues and the shareholder proposals. However, the new policy is not seen as Paris aligned and is still far behind its overseas peers. 2030 targets for the power sector are insufficient and there is no short-term target in line with the latest climate science. Ending support for new oil and gas as called for in IEA ‘s Net Zero Emissions scenario is missing, and loopholes in its coal sector policies remain. Through continuing shareholder proposals, we will encourage the company to mitigate the climate-related risks and strengthen its climate goals and measures.”

In addition to revising its policy, SMBC Group has also announced a statement against NGOs’ and individual shareholders’ shareholder proposals related to climate change. Below is our response to these statements. Despite claims to already be promoting initiatives outlined in the shareholder proposals, SMBC’s current measures are insufficient to meet the goals of the Paris agreement.

If the SMBC group is “earnestly” working on climate action, there is no reason for them to refuse to add the shareholder proposals to their article of incorporation. By adding them, the company can appeal to the national and the global market as one of the leading financial institutions that work to tackle climate change.


Drue Slatter [email protected]

+81 8075299441

Eri Watanabe [email protected]