Spanish bank BBVA has announced that it will pledge $100 billion in financing green energy and sustainable development projects by 2025. The announcement came as a response to growing criticism that the bank had done little to help combat climate change.
Last year, campaign group Share Action, listed BBVA 12th out of 15, on its ranking of top European Banks and their response to climate change. The group announced that based on the new developments, BBVA would move up to seventh position. The Spanish lender’s announcement is due in large part to the petition by investors and other advocacy groups for banks to support green projects. The petition by over 100 investors with assets under management of $2 trillion, was sent to 62 of the world’s largest banks last year.
Banks in the US and Europe have since begun to invest more in sustainable development projects, and some central banks have reviewed their policies as well. JP Morgan Chase will provide $200 billion for green energy related projects by 2025, while HSBC also promised $100 billion over the next seven years.
BBVA revealed that they will also be following the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures, the group headed by former Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg, and Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England. BBVA was part of the 17 banks that funded the heavily-criticised Dakota Access Pipeline, which investors fear will contaminate drinking water and affect burial sites of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
BBVA will also reduce its carbon footprint by 68 percent by 2025, and will reduce its funding for oil exploration and production from tar sands and the Arctic, coal miners and nuclear power plants.