Monday, January 14, 2008

Ceres: Banks not doing enough on climate change.

Ceres has just released a report on the banking industry and climate change. Ceres descrbies itself as follows:

"Ceres (pronounced “series”) is a national network of investors, environmental organizations and other public interest groups working with companies and investors to address sustainability challenges such as global climate change."

"According to a report released Thursday, a handful of banks have developed specific climate-related policies or strategies, while some have created working groups and executive positions to focus on the issue.

Commissioned by Ceres, the report looked at 40 of the world's largest publicly traded banks and financial services companies, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Merrill Lynch & Co Inc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc .

Slightly more than half of the banks surveyed offer climate-specific funds and similar products, said the report, which was authored by RiskMetrics Group.

Ceres also found a number of banks, including Royal Bank of Canada and Wells Fargo & Co, are formally calculating the risk they take when lending money to companies that could be affected by carbon dioxide regulations.

But the study said banks should explain how they are factoring carbon costs into their financing and investment decisions, especially for energy-intensive projects that pose financial risks as environmental regulation increases."


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