Close panel

Close panel

Close panel

Close panel

Responsible banking Updated: 03 Apr 2020

Last stop of the year on the road to sustainability: the 24th UN Climate Change Conference

The UN Climate Change Conference, held at the UN's annual Conference of the Parties (COP), are international meetings that aim to negotiate and and agree the activities that need to be addressed by global climate policy. On the heels of the announcement in Paris of its participation in the UN’s Principles for Responsible Banking, BBVA also joins this global initiative for a sustainable future.

The 24th UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) will be in the Polish city of Katowice, December 2-4, 2018. The event will play a pivotal role in designing instruments that successfully and efficiently address compliance with the world’s climate goals. With more than 20,000 attendees from 200 countries, this summit represents the largest global event that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming. During the conference, those countries that are party to the Kyoto protocol (CMP14) and the signatories of the Paris Agreement (CMA1) will also meet.

Faced with the challenge of climate change, BBVA and another international banks have assumed an important role in the transition to a more sustainable world. One of their key advantages is they can increasingly direct financing toward projects that are in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement. In short, making sure that these projects are aligned with the roadmap to sustainability and the fight against climate change. Banks are therefore positioned to lead the adoption of new financing methods and tools to be used to achieve these sustainable objectives, or as Carlos Torres Vila recently expressed "the future of finance is financing thinking about the future."

BBVA also joins this global initiative for a sustainable future

BBVA clearly understands its role in the journey toward sustainability, which is why it has rolled-out a series of mechanisms and standards – the Principles for Responsible Banking, as an example – that steer its business in the direction of a sustainable future.  The bank has been a proactive player in this area as demonstrated by the launch of its Pledge 2025, whose mission is to steadily align its business activities with the Paris Agreement. BBVA's participation in the UN’s 24th Conference on Climate Change represents a key step to living up to its pledge. The global initiative will help the bank do its part to limit global warming to below 2ºC and strike a balance between sustainable energy and investments in fossil fuels. BBVA's pledge is based on three lines of action: financing, management, and engagement.

As part of its pledge, BBVA has committed to allocating €100 billion euros to green financing, sustainable infrastructure projects, social entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion. It is also working to mitigate environmental and social risks, thus minimizing potentially negative direct and indirect impacts. In addition, BBVA will engage its stakeholders, promoting a greater contribution to sustainable development from the financial sector.

Critical goals

1- The COP24 sets the deadline for all participating countries to agree on concrete measures that govern the implementation of the Paris Agreement, representing an inflection point in each country’s roadmap.

2- According to the UNFCCC approved agenda, the summit will define: how the goals will be communicated, the rules to quantify emissions, how appropriate financing mechanisms will be established, and how to kick-off the process to reduce greenhouse gases.

3- An assessment and continued follow up of advances made thus far will be required.

4- Through the actions of the conference host country, Poland, demonstrating that it is possible to become carbon neutral through effective forest management.

An intense agenda

The summit should provide each participating country with the support it needs to tackle climate change. To do so, there will be more than 100 events in different formats: roundtables, online discussions, TED-style talks, etc. Among the most important are The Global Climate Action High Level Event, which offers a different perspective on climate change through dialogue between speakers on various topics; and the the Momentum for Change Awards, which, according to the organization, will be one of the most lively and exciting events of the summit.