September 22, 2019

UN Principles for Responsible Banking :

Global NGOs fear more greenwashing without swift action to defund fossil fuels 

New York – On the occasion of the official launch of the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), 130 commercial banks including global majors Citibank (US), ICBC (China), Barclays, Standard Chartered (UK), BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole (France) and Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui, Mizuho and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust (Japan) signed up “to align business practices with the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals”., Rainforest Action Network and Banktrack alongside 20 other civil society organizations released a statement today that cautiously welcomes the new banking sector initiative while demanding real action from signatory banks to ensure that the PRB does not end up as a greenwashing exercise. 

Senior Asia Finance Campaigner for, Shin Furuno said, “While we are encouraged by the fact that four of the largest banks in Japan have now committed to align their financing with the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, we note that their current financing, especially funding for fossil fuels, is blatantly incompatible with these global initiatives. The megabanks’ significant financing of the expansion of coal power, especially in Asia, is fueling the climate crisis. While the banks profess to follow social and environmental standards for project financing such as the Equator Principles, communities impacted by new coal power projects often face land-grabbing and intimidation by project proponents while suffering from air and water pollution from coal dust and wastewater.”

“In order for Japan’s megabanks to make good on their PRB commitments, they must immediately stop financing fossil fuel expansion, commit to a 1.5°C compatible phase-out of financing for the fossil fuel industry, and respect human and Indigenous Rights throughout their banking operations.”

Several NGOs will be conducting a creative demonstration outside the public launch of the PRB on the morning of 23 September at the BNP Paribas headquarters in New York City, to be held from 9am EDT. 

Action Details

Time: 9-10am EDT (directly preceding PRB Public Launch event)PRB Public Launch event)

Location: BNP Paribas, The Equitable Tower, 787 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019


Kim Bryan [email protected] / +447770881503