How moving your money could help save the planet | FT

The money in our bank accounts, savings, investments and pensions is fuelling climate destruction. FT deputy news editor Alice Ross questions whether changing providers can safeguard returns while protecting the environment. See if you get the FT for free as a student ( or start a £1 trial:

If you think about the greenest thing you as an individual can do from the comfort of your home you’ll probably picture recycling going vegan or using less water gas and electricity actually choosing where to put your money could have a much bigger impact because in many cases the institutions we trust with our savings investments pensions even our current accounts

Are investing in fossil fuels and the total volume of that investment has grown each year since 2016 when world leaders signed the paris agreement on climate change to limit global warming compared to pre-industrial levels so could moving your finances be the greenest thing you ever do let’s look at some of the arguments for and against recent analysis estimates

35 of the world’s biggest banks have financed fossil fuel companies so the tune of a collective 2.7 trillion dollars since the paris agreement was signed jp morgan chase tops the rankings lending 269 billion over the last four years seventh-placed barclays leads its competitors in europe contributing 118 billion over the same periods the money in your current

Account is probably ring fenced from the investment arms of these banks but that hasn’t stopped green organizations running high-profile campaigns urging customers to take their money elsewhere some have even brought in some celebrity firepower hi i’m jane fonda this video is not for you it’s for someone else that person is jamie dimon ceo of chase jamie move

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Chase’s money out of coal oil and gas now if you don’t we’ll leave your bank we’ll cut up our chase cards and find a better bank for anyone tempted to make the switch there have never been more green banks to choose from by the end of 2019 there were almost 30 institutions recognized by the green finance institute for their sustainable investment practices but

Dropping your bank for environmental reasons isn’t as cut and dried as you might think many argue the biggest fossil fuel backers have a significant influence on the energy sector and as a customer of that backer you have more power to steer their decisions from within it’s the same story with your investments bill gates famously said that so far fossil fuel

Divestment has had zero climate impact because new investors have been ready to pick up any stocks shares or funds being sold off meanwhile fossil fuel lenders have already started to shift their investment policies thanks in no small part to shareholder action around climate issues in february 2020 nat west pledged to become paris aligned this was followed by

Climate pledges from barclays in march morgan stanley in september j.p morgan chase and hsbc in october and td bank in november last year was also a record for sustainable funds total assets in these funds reached 1.7 trillion dollars up 50 over the year so when it comes to personal investments just as with banks green options are available both within traditional

Institutions and beyond where our options may be more limited is in our choice of pension according to a recent study of global pension assets 22 major pensions markets now manage nearly 47 trillion dollars between them that’s about half of all the money invested in the global financial system and so far little of it has been directed towards sustainable projects


In 2018 for example less than one percent of assets in the world’s largest 100 pension funds were invested in low carbon solutions this has led campaigners like richard curtis to make action on pensions their top priority people are going to realize what a piece of finished research says that changing where your money is invested is in fact 27 times more effective

In reducing your carbon footprint for instance than going vegan taking fewer flights and using less water all put together the process isn’t simple and it can introduce more risk but if you want to make your pension more green there are online resources with advice on how to do it either by switching your money to a more sustainable pension fund offered by your

Provider or by switching provider altogether when it comes to personal finances we each have the choice to stick or twist it’s a personal choice and climate change may be just one factor among many in that thought process but if you do want to make your voice heard on climate change then moving your money or threatening to move it could be a powerful tool of

Persuasion whatever you decide it’s never been easier to act than right now

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How moving your money could help save the planet | FT By Financial Times

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