With the updated Guidelines, published on 13 March 2024, the NZBA underlines the outcome of COP28 that the world needs to transition away from fossil fuels. They give more direction on setting and publishing transition plans for the highest-emitting sectors and require including facilitated emissions in climate targets.

Also, the Guidelines encourage banks to align their policy engagement practices with their climate commitments. These improvements have partly answered our criticism and address the key topics that needed to be included or improved.

Despite these improvements, Triodos Bank voted against the updated Guidelines, because they are not strict enough. By merely ‘encouraging’ banks to disclose policies for the highest emitting sectors and align policy engagement practices with their climate commitments, the Guidelines provide too much leeway for banks to decide which guidelines to comply with and which not.

The science is clear that ending new exploration and expansion and phasing-out fossil fuel production is critical over the next decade to keep the world in line with global climate goals and to avoid catastrophic climate disruption.

Yet, we believe that global cooperation is the only way in which we have a chance to limit the climate crisis and ensure banks will align their portfolios with the 1.5 scenario.

Triodos Bank also believes we can still influence the NZBA and its members to move the needle. With other values-based banks, members of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV), we have made progress by working together during the process of updating the Guidelines and will continue to do so.

We believe we will have the most impact if we remain committed to the NZBA. Therefore, Triodos Bank has decided to remain a member.