Credit Suisse’s new climate plans slammed by activist shareholder group
Swiss banking giant has come under fire over its latest climate plans, with one activist shareholder group labelling the strategy "not fit for purpose."
Last night Credit Suisse published its new climate strategy, called ‘Say on Climate’, which it will put to an advisory vote to shareholders at its 2023 AGM on 4 April.
As part of the plan, Credit Suisse set five additional emissions reductions targets for the power generation, commercial real estate, iron and steel, aluminium, and automotive sectors.
The bank stressed it has improved transparency through some additional disclosures around its Client Energy Transition Framework (CETF).
However, despite indicating an intention to do so on an undefined timeline, it "failed" to incorporate capital markets activities in its disclosures and targets, or update its oil and gas policy, argues Kelly Shields, campaign and project Manager at ShareAction in London.
“Credit Suisse’s new climate strategy is not fit for purpose – it ignores two of the most crucial areas of fossil fuel financing that would have enabled the bank to reach net zero by 2050," Shields told Net Zero Investor today.
She thinks "the bank must urgently update its oil and gas policy, which is one of the weakest in the European banking sector, with a particular focus on fracking."
Until Credit Suisse publishes a timebound plan to incorporate capital markets activities, which represent the bulk of its financing to top oil and gas expanders, in its disclosures and targets, shareholders must continue to press the bank for greater ambition on climate, Shields said.
For these reasons, she is urging investors to vote against the proposal.
"As the bank restructures it has a vital opportunity to ensure its sustainability commitments are at the core of its business and are ambitious enough to tackle the worsening climate crisis around the world," Shields said.
Next month's meeting
Last year, ShareAction and Ethos Foundation co-filed a shareholder resolution with 11 institutional investors in Credit Suisse, who represented €2.2 trillion in assets under management, calling on the bank to improve its climate disclosures, emissions reductions targets and fossil fuel policies.
Credit Suisse responded by offering shareholders an advisory vote on its climate report in 2023 at its AGM on 4 April.