Biggest net-zero finance group starts Asia network

The biggest finance industry coalition dedicated to reducing carbon emissions is expanding in the Asia-Pacific region, part of an effort to attract more investments into low carbon and renewable energy projects.

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero’s Asia network will have its headquarters in Singapore, with the support of Singapore Exchange Ltd., Temasek Holdings Pte. and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, according to a statement Wednesday. Yuki Yasui, formerly of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, has been appointed director to lead the network. 

The new body will engage with financial institutions and policymakers in the region, including countries that have yet to set 2050 net-zero targets. Ravi Menon, managing director of the MAS, will chair the advisory board, which will work with financial institutions to set their transition plans and net-zero targets.

GFANZ, which has attracted Wall Street titans including BlackRock Inc. has been criticized for catering to the global north while excluding developing-world banks. The alliance of more than 450 firms requires members to commit to net-zero financed emissions by 2050, which matches national targets across most of the rich world but exceeds climate goals in many developing countries. The roughly 40 per cent of global financial assets represented by the group mostly excludes the biggest banks in China, India and Africa.

“This is not just about bringing GFANZ to Asia but it’s very much about bringing Asia to GFANZ,” said co-chair Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England and Bank of Canada. “What happens in APAC will determine whether the world succeeds.”

Member firms from Asia include DBS Group Holdings Ltd. of Singapore and Japanese lenders Mizuho Financial Group Inc. and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. Singapore investors GIC Pte and Temasek aren’t part of the alliance.

GFANZ will launch additional regional networks in Africa and Latin America in the coming months, it said. Michael Bloomberg, the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP, is co-chair of the group.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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