Green Party say finance sector net zero commitment is ‘financiers marking their own homework’

2 November 2021

  • Glasgow Financial ‘Alliance for Net Zero’ risks encouraging greenwashing
  • Strong regulation and political oversight needed, not cosy bankers club
  • Urgent political action must include ending all fossil fuel subsidies and introducing carbon tax

Green Party Finance and Economy speaker Molly Scott Cato has questioned the launch by Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

Professor Scott Cato said:

“To be part of this net zero club, financial institutions are required to measure their investment against a net zero pathway, but they will be undertaking that measurement themselves. Yet again we are seeing financiers marking their own homework. They may give themselves a smug A* but the world’s citizens are giving them a big fat fail as they continue to finance the very industries that are driving us to destruction.’

“Without strong regulation and political oversight by democratic authorities there is nothing to prevent this cosy bankers’ club from descending into greenwashing. The most urgent shift we need to see for finance to justify itself as “sustainable” is an end to all investments in fossil fuels. Yet this new Alliance will allow investments in dirty coal in the Global South and has fallen for fossil fuel industry spin about gas as a transition fuel” [1].

The Green Party favours government regulation over private initiatives such as the new Alliance:

“This new Alliance is a rebranding exercise by the finance sector when what we need to see is strong action from governments who should immediately end fossil fuels subsidies and make polluters pay with a high and rising carbon tax.”

As Vice Chairman and Head of Impact Investing at Brookfield Asset Management, Carney’s role also raises questions about a conflict of interest.

Scott Cato continued:

“How can we have somebody whose day job is seeking to profit from the sustainability transition be responsible for designing the rules of the carbon market? Climate protestors have rightly focused their attention on banks and finance companies, who have been bankrolling the pathway to extinction in recent years.”

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-11-01/carney-says-gfanz-relentlessly-ruthlessly-focused-on-net-zero 

 






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