BBVA, the only Spanish bank to join the World Economic Forum's business leader alliance to combat climate change
The World Economic Forum's (WEF) Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, released a letter today, calling on the G7 and other world leaders to support a just transition. BBVA Chairman Carlos Torres Vila, the sole representative of a Spanish bank, has signed, together with 78 other CEOs or heads of large global companies, a declaration whose objective is to promote the contribution of the private sector in the fight against climate change.
This alliance of climate business leaders is the world's largest global community of CEOs and chairmans working towards transitioning their businesses to net zero. BBVA is the only Spanish bank member among other international financial institutions such as HSBC, Barclays, UBS, and Bank of America. The declaration was released one day ahead of the start of the G7 summit in Carbis Bay (United Kingdom).
The alliance urges governments to accelerate the transition ahead of the COP 26 meeting, calling on world leaders to implement a series of measures. Among them, achieving the commitment of large financial institutions to take into account scientifically-based guidelines in their lending portfolios; oblige all companies to set aggressive decarbonisation targets; report on all its emissions in all areas applying homogeneous standards and report on climate-related risks and opportunities; eliminate fossil fuel subsidies and cut tariffs on climate-friendly goods; and implement a suite of sector-specific incentives. In the case of the financial sector, it calls for the promotion of green finance (through fiscal and/or monetary policies) and climate related risk transfer mechanisms.
“To decarbonize the economy at the speed and scale required to achieve net-zero by 2050 at the latest, we urgently need transformative policy change,” as per the Alliance´s statement.
Working for a sustainable and prosperous future
The letter points to the fact that many companies are stepping up given the "urgent need to take action" in the face of climate change. “At least one-fifth of the world’s largest 2000 public companies, many of which we lead, has now committed to meet net-zero targets by mid-century or sooner, and the number is growing fast," states the letter.
Although “the challenges they face are substantial,” alliance members are convinced that a just transition towards a net-zero world of carbon emissions can be accomplished. “The transition has the potential to bring prosperity through green growth and jobs that set us on an equitable path.” In this sense they warn, “not taking mitigating actions against climate change could shrink global GDP by up to 18 percent in the next 30 years.”
Transformative political momentum to achieve decarbonization
“Governments are also starting to move: countries that emit over 60 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions have now committed to net-zero and carbon neutrality targets by around mid-century,” confirms the letter. “We now need these commitments to turn into actions, especially in the short term. This is because action from governments can accelerate even more action from companies.”
About the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders
The World Economic Forum´s (WEF) Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders meets twice a year to exchange ideas and best practices in order to build consensus. It is a community open to companies from any country and sector of activity. Its goal is to drive change across all supply chains. The companies in this alliance employ 7 million people in 21 countries, represent $ 6 trillion in market capitalization and have $ 2.4 trillion in annual sales, a figure higher than Italy's GDP ($ 2 trillion) and about the same size as France's GDP ($ 2.7 trillion).