Banks between climate protection and profit

Wants to finance less greenhouse gas emissions: Deutsche Bank is one of the first members of the Net Zero Banking Alliance.
Image: Junker, Patrick

Banks are not environmental organizations. However, if they are committed to climate protection, they must also deliver.

EActually, the project of the Net Zero Bank Alliance sounds like a good plan. As financiers of the economy, the banks have powerful leverage. Telling corporations and companies that there is no money left unless they at least make an effort to make their operations greener could act as a catalyst in their climate efforts. But just a year after Allianz was founded, the question arises as to how serious the banks are about their promises.

Many of them have set goals and intermediate goals; but many of these 2030 goals seem unambitious, and it’s hard to imagine that the 2050 goals will last that long in the fast-paced world of finance. If Deutsche Bank and many other institutes also exclude their capital market business from the climate efforts, the big promises shrink badly. Banks are not environmental organizations, even if their marketing sometimes wants to give the impression and Greenpeace and Co. would like that.

Of course, banks primarily want to maximize their profits and are in tough competition with each other. In this respect, it makes sense that they set themselves different goals for climate protection. Of course, they must not be too lax. Otherwise the net zero alliance will quickly become a zero number.

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