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UNEP-FI 2020 Acclimatise - Charting a New Climate.pdf (4.85 MB)

Charting a new climate

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posted on 2020-09-14, 09:41 authored by Richenda Connell, Robin Hamaker-Taylor, Bob Khosa, John Firth, Amanda Rycerz, Sophie Turner, Erin Owain, Xianfu Lu, Richard Bater, Anna Haworth, Jennifer Steeves, Alistair Baglee, Alvaro Linares, Robert WilbyRobert Wilby
Three years on from the publication of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, the financial sector’s attention is firmly focused on climate-related risks and opportunities. The TCFD recommendations aimed to promote forward-looking scenario-based assessments of climate change by financial institutions and corporates, and for the findings to be incorporated into their strategic decisions. Since then, the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), a grouping of central banks and supervisors, has been established and its membership has grown at a fast pace. The NGFS aims to contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector, and to mobilize mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy. Its members have collectively pledged support for the TCFD recommendations. In another major development, the Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB) were established by UNEP FI and member banks in 2019. Signatory banks to the PRB (more than 180 by August 2020), have committed to align their strategy and practice with the vision that society has set out for its future in the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement. UNEP FI has run pilot projects on implementing the TCFD recommendations for over 90 banks, investors, and insurers. Many other processes and organizations aim to tackle climate risk and opportunity in the financial sector.
This new focus on climate-related risks and opportunities sits within a context of intensifying climate change impacts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on global warming of 1.5°C estimates that human activities have already caused about 1°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels.1 If global GHG emissions continue to increase at the current rate, warming is likely to reach 1.5°C by around 2040 and up to 4°C by the end of the century. Yet the world will face severe climate impacts even with 1.5°C of warming. Physical risks – which result from climate variability, extreme events and longer-term shifts in climate patterns – are already being experienced and are set to intensify in the future.
This report describes the outputs of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Phase II banking pilot which lays out state-of-the-art tools and data for assessment of physical climate-related risks and opportunities by banks. The Phase II pilot, involving 39 UNEP FI member banks from six continents, focused on addressing key methodological challenges highlighted in its predecessor Phase I report, ‘Navigating a New Climate’.2 As the climate policy context evolves, banks are more focused on meeting the emerging expectations of financial industry regulators. While the emphasis at present is on assessing risks, banks have a key role to play – and an enormous business opportunity to realize – in providing finance for governments, businesses and consumers to invest in adaptation measures.
This Phase II report provides rich technical guidance and information on the resources available to support forward-looking scenario-based assessments of physical risks and opportunities. The tools and data to support banks’ physical risk and opportunity assessments must be grounded in robust scientific evidence, be usable within the context of banks’ other data, tools and systems, and facilitate comparability between banks. While these needs are not yet fully met, significant advances have been made.


Commissioned by: UNEPFI



  • Social Sciences and Humanities


  • Geography and Environment


UN Environment Programme


  • VoR (Version of Record)

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© UN Environment Programme

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Prof Robert Leonard Wilby. Deposit date: 9 September 2020

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