I had not heard of the Equator Principles, which are discussed in an article in the Malaysian Insider:

In 2003, a number of banks launched the Equator Principles, a set of voluntary guidelines for the finance sector to ensure that the major projects it funds are developed in a socially and environmentally responsible way. These have been adopted by more than 60 financial institutions, including Barclays, Citigroup and the HSBC Group.

The guidelines, which were updated in 2006, require companies borrowing from participating banks to look into issues like community health and the impact of the project on indigenous peoples.

Regarding needs for helping avert climate change, the article quotes Dr. Dr Sanjeev Khagram, who is “the Wyss Visiting Scholar at Harvard University and international associate at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation, a Singapore think-tank”:

“The best climate experts estimate that it would take US$5 trillion for a global deal on climate change,”

But this amount is not nearly so much as

how much governments have spent in responding to the global financial crisis through bailouts, fiscal stimulus and otherwise is US$10 trillion (RM34 trillion) over the last two years or so, he says.

“Where banks and financial institutions don’t invest, there can be a dramatically negative impact on broader social environmental goals. And where they do invest, there can be a potentially positive impact.”

It’s a good read, pointing out how it is in banks’ self-interest to loan and help preserve the environmental status-quo.

It’s interesting, however, how much greater this $5 trillion estimate is than what people discussed at the Copenhagen summit, which was $200 billion, but this latter figure was for developing nations, not the entire world, as I recall.


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