Article / 24 Apr, 2018
Wells Fargo Pledges to Invest USD 200 Billion in Sustainability by 2030

UN Climate Change News, 24 April 2018 – The multinational financial services company Wells Fargo has pledged to invest USD 200 billion over the next decade in climate action and sustainability, 50 percent of which will go into renewable energy, clean technologies, sustainable transport, and green bonds.

Sustainable financing is a crucial component of achieving the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which aims to limit the rise in global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial level.

“Wells Fargo is committed to taking a leadership role in supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy and promoting environmental sustainability through our products and services, operations and culture, and philanthropy,” said CEO Tim Sloan in an announcement.    

Wells Fargo has total assets of USD 1.9 trillion. The new commitment follows on from its 2012 goal of investing USD 30 billion in clean technologies by 2020, which it met within three years.

Wells Fargo has also committed to greater transparency on the carbon intensity of its portfolio, and it will regularly report on the impacts of its lending, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure.

“With this commitment, we are combining a strong financial goal with enhanced transparency and disclosure practices that we believe will lead to sector-wide progress on responsible, sustainable finance,” Sloan added.

Mindy Lubber, CEO of the non-profit organization Ceres, said the bank’s new commitments were “significant” and help contribute to the growing momentum within the financial sector to make more investments in clean energy.

“More and more investors and companies understand the economic imperative and strategic long-term benefits of keeping global temperature rise to well-below 2-degrees Celsius,” she added.

Climate Finance Globally on the Rise, but Trend Needs to Be Accelerated

The announcement by the company is a promising indication that decisive and enhanced climate action is picking up on the part of many stakeholders, including finance.

A UN report earlier this month said that progress on reforming the global financial system over the last four years has started to deliver urgently needed financing for sustainability.

For example, green bond issuance grew from US$11 billion in 2013 to US$155 billion in 2017. Divestments in carbon-intensive assets reached an estimated US$5 trillion in 2016, set against investments in coal, oil and gas over the same period of around US$710 billion.

However, whilst the overall trend is promising, the current volume of finance being mobilized falls far short of what is needed to deliver the targets of the Paris Agreement.

In March, Spanish bank BBVA also announced plans to spend €100 billion by 2025 on fighting climate change. HSBC will also invest a similar amount in low-carbon projects.

Read the related news report here