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Aligning portfolios with net zero

Criteria for Credible Net Zero Commitments

While a growing number of financial institutions are making net-zero commitments - either individually or as part of coalitions such as the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative, and the Net-Zero Banking Alliance - long-term ambition must be backed by credible and science-based action.

Our Criteria for Credible Net Zero Commitments provide a high-level framework for credible net-zero commitments, building on the Starting Line and Leadership Practices criteria of the Race To Zero, and should be helpful for organizations in the Finance Coalition Coordination Mechanism (FCCM) and all other financial institutions preparing to make net-zero commitments.

Introductory Guide for Financial Institutions

Our Net Zero Introductory Guide for Financial Institutions (in English and French) provides an overview of some of the key principles and concepts linked to setting net-zero targets, as well as market expectations for developing credible targets.

It will help financial institutions navigate the technical questions they face in assessing portfolio alignment with a net-zero scenario, and meet some of the key technical challenges involved in implementing robust, science-based strategies.

CDP-WWF Temperature Rating Methodology

The CDP-WWF Temperature Rating Methodology is an open source methodology which translates corporate emissions reduction targets into a single, intuitive metric, and assesses to what degree of warming a company or a financial portfolio contributes. The methodology is a core part of SBTi for Finance designed to enable financial institutions to set emissions reduction targets for lending and investment portfolios, and is available to over 325,000 investors globally via the Bloomberg Terminal.


Transition Plans

The concept of private sector transition plans has emerged as a crucial lever to accelerate action on climate change and the protection and restoration of nature.

This position paper presents WWF’s view on key criteria and expectations that make up a credible climate and nature transition plan for financial institutions. By acknowledging and building upon existing frameworks this paper seeks to drive ambition, promote convergence on best practices, and support the adoption of robust international standards.

WWF’s key criteria and expectations for credible financial institution transition plans are summarised as follows:

  • Ambition and Prioritization: commit to net zero in line with 1.5°C warming; set science-based (interim) targets; identify high-impact decarbonization levers or actions.
  • Nature and Just Transition: commit to nature-protection and restoration goals; manage risks and opportunities of nature; capitalize on nature as a carbon sink and resilience measure; enable a “just” transition.
  • Action and Implementation: adopt policies that commit to fossil fuel phase-out; scale up financing for climate and nature-based solutions; implement credible engagement strategies and escalations processes.
  • Accountability and Verification: establish clear governance structures; seek third party verification; transparently report on progress and results.
  • Feedback and Flexibility: embed flexibility into implementation; ensure material updates inform future iterations of plans; enact clear adjustments if there are deviations from targets.
WWF also provides a series of recommendations to financial institutions, policy makers and regulators.