On September 19, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released nine principles for net-zero financing and investment by financial institutions. The Principles focus on “scope 3” financed and facilitated greenhouse gas emissions (i.e., indirect emissions included in a company’s value chain) and advocate that financial institutions making credible net-zero commitments should develop transition plans with clear practices, targets, and metrics, and should support their clients and portfolio companies adopting their own transition plans. Although the release states that use of the Principles is “wholly voluntary” and that the Principles “do not impose legal requirements on any activities or institutions,” financial institutions that have made net-zero commitments—or are considering making net-zero commitments—should consider reviewing the Principles to better understand how Treasury is approaching issues related to net-zero commitments and climate change more generally.
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