Financial sector has ‘great power’ to stop biodiversity loss and reap the rewards of being ‘nature positive’, report reveals

EY, Microsoft and Earth Knowledge (October 2021)

The financial sector risks inflicting significant damage on itself and companies across the world if it fails to use its “great power” to stop actions that harm the planet, a new report by EY, Microsoft and Earth Knowledge has said.

As a core part of global economies, banks, investment firms and insurers have a “great responsibility” to ensure they support activities that are “nature positive” and protect the air, land, water and animals in the Earth’s unique and delicate ecosystems.

Entitled “Waking up to Nature – the biodiversity imperative in financial services”, the report estimates that the world’s largest investment banks provided $2.6 trillion of loans and underwriting services linked to the destruction of nature in 2019 alone, and a failure to act at pace and scale to rectify this will create a “material financial risk for the financial services industry”. This will manifest in “market, credit, reputational, regulatory, supply chain, operational, employee engagement and underwriting risk”, the report states.