A lone Philippine bank is part of the founding signatories to a landmark global agreement outlining guidelines for sustainability in the financial sector.
The Development Bank of the Philippines is one of 130 banks worldwide who have signed to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, launched on the eve of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York on Sept. 23.
The principles commit the financial institutions to strategically align their business with the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 130 banks collectively hold $47 trillion in assets, comprising a third of the global banking sector.
“The UN Principles for Responsible Banking are a guide for the global banking industry to respond to, drive and benefit from a sustainable development economy. The principles create the accountability that can realize responsibility, and the ambition that can drive action,” said UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres in a statement.
DBP’s commitment to the seminal UN agreement has been lauded by environmentalist groups in the Philippines. “We welcome this development as a signal that the Philippine business sector, particularly the banking and finance industry, is finally taking the issue of climate change seriously,” said Rodne Galicha, lead convenor of the Catholic climate advocacy group Living Laudato Si–Philippines.
Living Laudato Si is a movement acting on the pronouncements of Pope Francis in his encyclical of the same name, urging the faithful to take concrete steps against climate change by supporting sustainable business development and divesting from destructive enterprises such as those involved in fossil fuels and mining.