UN Environment announced a new joint initiative to strengthen financial institutions’ assessment and disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities, with eleven major banks.

This announcement was made in a press release issued to the Ghana News Agency on Wednesday. It named the banks as ANZ, Barclays, Bradesco, Citi, Itaú, National Australia Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, Standard Chartered, TD Bank Group, and UBS.

These banks would be working with UN Environment to develop the necessary tools to enable banks to follow the recommendations of the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures presented at the G20 last week.

It said the Task Force, mandated by the Financial Stability Board, developed and published, last month made recommendations for consistent climate-related financial disclosure for companies, investors, lenders and insurers to use.

Mr Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, said: “the message from financial heavyweights is clear – climate change poses a real and serious threat to our economy.”

He said: “At the same time, there are enormous business opportunities in taking climate action. Transparency on how financial institutions mitigate the risks and seize the opportunities of a two degrees pathway is crucial to move international markets towards actively supporting a low-carbon and climate-resilient future.”

It said financial institutions need to improve their understanding of climate-related risks and opportunities, in order to be able to scale up their sustainable investment and to help financing the transition to a low carbon economy.

Liselotte Arni, Head Environmental and Social Risk, UBS said: “We welcome and support the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. They represent a major step forward to help businesses and investors assess the risks associated with climate change. We look forward to working with other banks on implementing the TFCD’s recommendations.”