The financial sector should divest in fossil assets

Press Release

In response to proposals presented today for the outline of a Climate Agreement (Klimaatakkoord), Triodos Bank believes financial institutions must rapidly reduce their fossil investments. Ministers Hoekstra and Wiebes are well-advised to invite the financial sector to commit itself to the climate goals of the government. Triodos Bank actively contributes to the climate tables, including offering a financing solution for making millions of homes more sustainable in the years ahead.

Triodos Bank believes that the financial sector should also actively commit itself this autumn to the goal of the Climate Agreement: CO2 reduction of 49 percent by 2030. “This not only means more green financing, but also accelerated reduction of fossil assets”, says CEO Peter Blom of Triodos Bank. “All Dutch assets of financials must show at least a 49% reduction by 2030.” According to him, that means that financial institutions should be crystal clear in their conversation with companies: 'Do you participate in the transition? If not, we will terminate your financing.'

According to Peter Blom, the drive towards sustainability should not only come from the government, but pressure from financial institutions is also urgently needed. "The results of the climate tables so far show that this is particularly relevant for agriculture, industry and mobility." Triodos Bank itself will from 2018 start to measure and report on the carbon footprint of its loans and investments using the methodology developed by PCAF.

Fiduciary responsibility also includes impact of the energy transition

With the agreement approaching, the energy transition is gaining momentum. According to Itske Lulof, Director of Energy & Climate at Triodos Investment Management, the investment arm of Triodos Bank, banks, but also pension funds and insurers, for example, will have to worry more about the impact of the transition on the future creditworthiness of companies that represent the old economy. “That is also the fiduciary responsibility of asset managers. But as long as our sector thinks it has to opt for a higher yield on fossil versus a slightly lower return on cleantech, we still have a long way to go.”

Building-related financing is novelty

Triodos Bank has actively contributed to the climate table for the Built Environment in developing a solution whereby banks link a sustainability loan to the building instead of the person. When moving house, the next owner continues to pay off where the previous owner had got to. Reducing energy costs should cover the costs of the loan.

According to Matthijs Bierman, director of Triodos Bank Nederland, this building-related financing is a novelty. “It is a serious impetus to make millions of homes more sustainable in the coming years. We are in the starting blocks. As soon as legally possible, we will offer these loans. With our new green mortgage, we are already taking an advance here. Making your home more sustainable must be accessible to everyone.”

Triodos Bank is closely involved in the realisation of the Climate Agreement.

  • Jeroen Pels (Mortgages manager) at the sector table Built Environment and as chair of the Financing and Standardisation working group.
  • Itske Lulof (Director Climate & Energy) in the task group that looks at the financeability of the plans.
  • Kees Vendrik (Chief Economist) as chair of the sector table Electricity.