Banks told by EU to take climate change into account in lending

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European authorities have told banks for the first time to take account of environmental risks in lending decisions, ramping up pressure on the financial industry to respond to climate change.

In lending guidelines issued Friday, the European Union's top banking regulator said banks must incorporate climate considerations in credit policies. Banks should also assess whether borrowers could be liable for contributing to global warming.

The Paris-based European Banking Authority called the move a "significant step" in the EU's fight against climate change.

The EU is moving to embed environmental goals in standards for banks, money managers and insurers, in the hopes of directing trillions of euros toward a radical revision of the region's economy. The bloc has been at the forefront of global efforts to reduce greenhouse emissions by channeling the financial industry toward green investments.

Bloomberg News