GFANZ welcomes more than 100 new financial institutions as signatories of the net-zero alliances
Principals Group meets in-person at COP28 to announce 2024 priorities
December 4, 2023 – On COP28 Finance Day, the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) unveiled its 2023 Progress Report, showing participation in the net-zero transition continues to build across the financial system and highlighting tangible momentum behind its work on transition planning, capital mobilization in emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), and climate transition-related data. This follows an in-person meeting of the GFANZ Principals Group – a body of 20 leaders across the global financial system co-chaired by Michael R. Bloomberg, UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, and Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance – to announce 2024 priorities.
Financial sector commitments to net zero have continued to grow with membership rising over 20% in sector-specific alliances affiliated with GFANZ. Additionally, two new net-zero alliances, a third regional network, and two chapters launched in 2023.
- GFANZ affiliated alliances now comprise over 675 financial institutions from 50 countries, with more than 100 financial institutions joining sector-specific alliances this year alone.
- GFANZ welcomed the Venture Climate Alliance in April and celebrated the launch of the Net-Zero Export Credit Agencies Alliance (NZECA) at COP28. The NZECA, with UNEP FI as secretariat, seeks to support export credit agencies in their net-zero transition.
- Japan Chapter: In June, Japan became the first nation to host a GFANZ Country Chapter to support local financial institutions as part of the broader GFANZ Asia-Pacific (APAC) Network launched in 2022.
- Hong Kong Chapter: In August, GFANZ launched the Hong Kong Chapter to engage and build capacity with financial institutions in Greater China on net-zero efforts, transition planning, and scaling transition finance.
- Latin America and Caribbean Regional Network: In October, GFANZ launched its third regional network to accelerate Latin American and Caribbean regional expertise and perspectives embedded in GFANZ’s work. This effort ensures that the transition to net zero remains a top priority in every corner of the world.
In 2023, GFANZ achieved progress focused on three core priorities:
1. Mainstreaming transition planning
- Net-Zero Transition Planning: GFANZ saw strong adoption of the NZTP framework delivered to COP27 last year and expects to see approximately 250 financial institutions publish their transition plans based on it in the next year. Policymakers in several major economies including the US, UK, EU, Singapore, and Hong Kong have recommended or mandated transition planning by financial institutions and businesses.
- Financing Decarbonization: The GFANZ Secretariat published a Technical Review Note on Scaling Transition Finance and Real-economy Decarbonization, a Supplement to the 2022 Net-Zero Transition Plan Report. This work recognizes that to achieve the greatest emissions reductions finance needs to flow to carbon-intensive sectors in support of transition plans that will drive economy-wide decarbonization. The Technical Review Note is in two parts. Part I is a supplement to the GFANZ NZTP framework and refines the GFANZ four key transition financing strategies. Part II explores forward-looking approaches to evaluate potential decarbonization contributions in support of scaling transition finance. The Secretariat will work with stakeholders to further develop this work into 2024 and beyond.
- Financing the Managed Phaseout of Coal-Fired Power Plants in Asia Pacific: The managed phaseout of coal power represents one of highest impact ways to bring down emissions. GFANZ published guidance to support financial institutions, coal power operators, and governments to put in place plans for coal phaseout that supports a just and orderly transition.
- Global Capacity Building Coalition: GFANZ led the design and establishment of the new global Coalition at COP28, which will provide technical assistance to financial institutions in EMDEs. This unprecedented global collaboration across climate and finance responds to institutional requests for support developing transition plans through capacity-building, training, knowledge-sharing, and research.
2. Closing the investment gap
- Industrial Transition Accelerator (ITA): GFANZ announced its role as partner for the ITA, representing a financial industry perspective in a multi-stakeholder effort that will harness leading heavy-emitting industrial decarbonization efforts by business, governments, finance, and civil society to work collaboratively to implement the solutions to decarbonize these sectors.
- Country platforms and JETPs: Having long advocated for country-led efforts to help unlock the investment needed to support ambitious transitions in EMDEs, GFANZ actively supported material progress in the Viet Nam, Indonesia, and Senegal JETPs in 2023. Indonesia and Viet Nam issued their investment plans, identifying their energy transition priorities, necessary enabling policies, projects ideas, and potential financing solutions, informed by regular input from private finance on what could best unlock financing flows. Senegal and the International Partners Group (IPG) reached agreement on the objectives for the JETP, and a supporting secretariat is being set up.
- Research on Mobilizing Capital in and to EMDEs: Commissioned by GFANZ, BloombergNEF’s report found that in 2022, some 75% of power generating-capacity added in EMDEs was low carbon, with low-carbon investments reaching an all-time high of $85 billion, up 10% from 2021. However, the scale of climate finance was far below the requisite needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. The BNEF report outlined country case studies illustrating the success of particular EMDEs and insights for how this can be scaled and replicated with coordinated public-private finance and engagement.
- Supporting private capital mobilization: GFANZ has continued to highlight the need for MDBs and development finance institutions to better mobilize private capital towards the transition. GFANZ has convened dialogues alongside the IMF, World Bank, and COP28 Presidency to support this agenda, brought private finance voices to help inform G20 recommendations to MDBs, and recently partnered with other leading financial sector coalitions on a Call to Action to governments and MDBs on increasing private sector climate investment in EMDEs. This complements the work co-led by GFANZ Co-Chair Mark Carney in the World Bank’s Private Sector Investment Lab, which is working directly with World Bank Group leadership to identify specific priority recommendations for private capital mobilization.
- Voluntary carbon markets: GFANZ continues to work closely with key partners, including the COP Presidency, UNFCCC, World Bank, ICVCM, VCMI, and ACMI, to support efforts to embed new standards to underpin high-integrity carbon markets, such that they can scale and unlock significant additional finance for EMDEs for everything from nature-based solutions to coal phaseout.
- Supporting Brazil’s green growth agenda: Mark Carney, Co-Chair of GFANZ, met with Brazil’s Minister of Finance Fernando Haddad and BNDES President Aloizio Mercadante at COP28 to discuss the country’s climate goals. Mark Carney commended President Lula and Minister Haddad’s commitment and leadership on climate, both domestically and internationally, and looks forward to partnering with the Brazilian Government through Bloomberg Philanthropies and GFANZ in support of Brazil’s Ecological Transformation Plan, and their G20 and COP30 Presidencies.
3. Closing the data gap
- Net-Zero Data Public Utility (NZDPU): Acknowledging the need for climate data to drive informed decision-making toward the net-zero transition, GFANZ supports the work of the NZDPU. The Principals Group issued a Statement of Support endorsing it. The NZDPU is a data repository based on the recommendations of the Climate Data Steering Committee to make private sector climate transition-related data free and accessible to all. The NZDPU’s Proof of Concept builds on the work of the TCFD to map the data issue and mainstream climate reporting worldwide and was unveiled at COP as a critical first step in closing the climate data gap.
Priorities for 2024
In addition to the new initiatives and partnerships launched at COP28, the inaugural in-person GFANZ Principals Group approved the 2024 GFANZ workplan. In addition to continuing its existing priorities, the workplan includes:
- Nature and transition planning: GFANZ will integrate nature into net-zero transition plans. Working with key stakeholders at the climate and nature nexus, this initiative will commence in 2024 with the first deliverable later that year.
- Index-based investment: GFANZ is supporting a cross-alliance workstream for developing the next generation of net-zero indices and to help investors to better align index-based investment with the net-zero transition.
- Measuring impact on emissions: GFANZ will continue its work with partners on decarbonization contribution methodologies to scale transition finance and support adoption.
- Real Economy Decarbonization: GFANZ will work closely with ITA country, technology, and industry partners to support the development of fit-for-purpose innovative financing strategies for a number of cross-sector decarbonization solutions in key jurisdictions and encourage widespread adoption of sector specific transition plans by industry.
- Carbon Markets: GFANZ will seek to unlock high-integrity carbon markets to fund the global transition.
- Country platforms: GFANZ will pivot to focus on project development and delivering public-private financing solutions in the Indonesian and Viet Nam JETPs, and look to support new country platforms in Brazil and Senegal.
- Brazil Ecological Transition Plan: Further to the meeting at COP, GFANZ was tasked with partnering with BNDES and Minister Haddad’s team to identify areas for collaboration to mobilize capital and create financing solutions to drive Brazil’s green growth and the Ecological Transformation Plan, and to support Brazil’s Presidency of the G20 and COP30.
Michael R. Bloomberg, GFANZ Co-Chair and UN Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions: “Businesses and investors increasingly have the data they need to identify risks from climate change and find the emissions that are driving it. Armed with that data, more and more of the world’s biggest financial firms are producing plans to reach net-zero emissions, with many more on track to do so in the year ahead. This is a critical step forward in the fight against climate change that can help to unleash the capital we need to invest in clean energy, decarbonize heavy-emitting industries, and build a more resilient global economy. The faster we move, the more lives we will save and improve.”
Mark Carney, GFANZ Co-Chair and UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance: “At the outset of 2023, we set two priorities: the mainstreaming of transition plans and the mobilizing of capital to emerging and developing countries. The commitment of dedicated financial institutions has driven significant momentum in both. We are focused on building on this progress by going where the emissions are to ensure that finance flows to those countries and industries with the ambition to reach net zero.”
Mary Schapiro, GFANZ Vice Chair and Head of Secretariat for GFANZ and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures: “We applaud the progress so far this year to support a net-zero transition. Our work to develop tools and frameworks will play a critical role in supporting companies and financial institutions to develop and disclose credible and comprehensive transition plans, publish and utilize climate-related data, and accelerate efforts to close the investment gap.”
Nili Gilbert, GFANZ Advisory Panel Chair: “Despite the rising dangers and costs of climate change, the opportunity to co-create a prosperous future remains within our reach. In support of this goal, GFANZ builds standards, frameworks, and methodologies to support financial system and real economy decarbonization. I applaud GFANZ’s progress during 2023 in advancing impactful strategies to drive the net-zero transition.”
The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is a global coalition of financial sector net-zero alliances working together to support the world’s transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. Through the net-zero alliances, GFANZ has united over 675 institutions across the financial sector, including banks, insurers, asset owners, asset managers, financial service providers, and investment consultants, spanning 50 countries and representing 40% of global private financial assets. To help unlock transition investment in developing economies, GFANZ regional networks work to support capital mobilization, expand participation, and reflect the diverse needs of financial institutions around the world.
Elizabeth Nicoletti, GFANZ, firstname.lastname@example.org