Financial institutions have submitted hundreds of interim climate targets to the Glasgow Finance Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) ahead of COP27, according to the alliance’s co-chair, Mark Carney.

During a speech on Monday evening, the former governor of the Bank of England said: “We’ve already received over 250 science-based interim targets and there’s an additional 90 targets under review and on track to be confirmed by the start of Sharm El Sheikh,” referring to the climate summit which will be held in Egypt next month.

GFANZ requires its members to “set 2030 interim targets that represent a fair share of the 50% decarbonisation required by the end of the decade”.

It is unclear whether the 250 targets that have been submitted so far come from individual institutions, or whether some institutions have submitted more than one target to cover different business units or asset classes. A spokesperson for GFANZ was unable to clarify before publication.

Carney made the comments as part of the inaugural memorial lecture for the late Roger Gifford, who chaired the UK’s Green Finance Initiative.

Now the UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, Carney used the speech to acknowledge recent pushback against GFANZ by some of its members.

A handful of big US banks reportedly threatened to leave the alliance this summer over concerns about whether an update to its rules would expose them to accusations of anti-competitive collaboration.

However, Carney pointed out that the only three institutions have actually exited GFANZ, and all had done so because they lacked the resources to comply with its requirements, not because of legal worries.

He added that over 50 members had joined since COP26, from more than 50 countries, bringing the combined balance sheet to some $150trn.

Carney also touched on the role of climate data in helping financial institutions meet their transition plans. In June, GFANZ co-chair Michael Bloomberg teamed up with French president Emmanual Macron to launch a steering committee “to advise how to capture and create open, centralised climate data to accelerate the transition towards a resilient, net zero global economy”.

That committee, made up of representatives from bodies including IOSCO, Refinitiv, London Stock Exchange, MSCI and the UN, is helping to design an open climate data platform.

“This will be operational by this time next year and will provide consistent, accurate, openly available climate transition-related data to allow financial institutions, regulators, civil society, all stakeholders, the general public, to track climate progress,” said Carney.

He also stressed the need to “grow transition assets” to support companies seeking to decarbonise the real economy, and warned investors “not to retreat into the false comfort of portfolio-level decarbonisation by divesting their way to net zero”.

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