Global financial institutions are increasingly steering clear of involvement in carbon-intensive projects. Now, a group of leading banks is drafting guidelines on how to responsibly provide financing for clients trying to transition to carbon-free energy.
NHK has learned that the initiative includes more than 20 financial institutions, including Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, US-based Citigroup and Britain's Barclays.
Shifting to carbon-free energy is easier said than done for many companies and projects, especially in Asia.
Any sudden halt in investment and lending could put the brakes on their countries' economic growth.
The planned guidelines would still allow lending to projects emitting carbon dioxide as long as those projects are in line with the respective countries' road maps for achieving a carbon-neutral society through technological innovation.
The next question is whether the guidelines can win global recognition. There are calls in the United States and Europe to tightly regulate investment in greenhouse-gas emitting projects.