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Commitment> Climate Action 30 Sep 2021

BBVA joins global business initiative calling a more ambitious G20 agenda against climate change

BBVA, together with over 600 businesses from across the globe, signs an open letter to G20 leaders demanding more mobilization and ambition in the “the path to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity.” The letter also urges them to go all in to at least halve emissions of G20 member countries by 2030. They also recognize the “great opportunities to be harnessed through a carefully managed transition.”


“We can build stronger, just, and more resilient economies: bringing prosperity and creating decent jobs while protecting health and the planet,” states the letter, released this Thursday, one month ahead of the G20 summit, which is scheduled to take place on October 30-31 in Rome, and the COP26, which will be held from November 1 in Glasgow.

The letter has been promoted by We Mean Business, a global non-profit coalition of which BBVA is a member, with the aim to urge world leaders to expedite action and increase ambition to remain within the limits established in the Paris Agreement’s goal of maintaining the planet’s average temperature increase below 1.5°C.

The letter demands the G20 to adopt three key measures:

  • Strengthening Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in line with at least halving global emissions by 2030, and committing to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050.
  • Committing to ending new coal power development and financing immediately, and developing plans to phase out coal-fired power generation by 2030 for advanced economies, and 2040 for other countries.
  • Aligning public finance, COVID-19 recovery spending and fiscal policies with the decarbonization goals of the Paris Agreement. And specifically delivering on existing public climate finance commitments such as the US$100 billion annual contribution by developed countries to emerging economies.

It also advocates the progressive removal of fossil fuel subsidies (ideally by 2025) and making climate-related financial disclosure of risks, opportunities and impacts mandatory for corporations.

“We see devastating evidence of global warming all around us. Extreme weather events around the world must be a wake up signal to us all that there is no time to lose,” warns the letter.

“Many of our businesses have operations spanning multiple G20 countries. A harmonized policy environment across the G20 will enable us to collectively decarbonize our value chains, products and services, while supporting our shared climate and sustainable development goals,” it says.

The G20 represents approximately 90 percent of global GDP and almost 80 percent of global trade, and is responsible for almost 80 percent of GHG emissions. For the signatories of the statement, the G20 “has a unique collective responsibility, and opportunity, to demonstrate global leadership to decisively address climate change while leaving no-one behind.”

BBVA’s Decarbonization Commitment

BBVA has placed sustainability at the core of its business and is one of its six strategic priorities. In 2021, the bank decided to stop financing companies engaging in carbon-related activities, by 2030 in developed countries and before 2040 across the remainder of its footprint. It has also committed to reaching carbon-neutrality by 2050, taking into account both direct (the bank became carbon neutral in direct emissions in 2020) and indirect emissions, i.e. emissions by customers it finances.

Also, BBVA has pledged to mobilize €200 billion between 2018 and 2025 in sustainable finance, after doubling its original target, of which, as of June 2021, the bank had already channeled €67.1 billion.

BBVA is the most sustainable bank in Europe, and second in the world, according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

We Mean Business Coalition

We Mean Business is a global nonprofit Coalition working with the world's most influential businesses to take action on climate change, accelerate the transition to a fair and resilient zero-carbon economy. We Mean Business Coalition’s purpose is to promote collaborative leadership to face the climate crisis.