We cannot address the climate crisis without ending deforestation. Even with all other anthropogenic emissions phased out, ‘business as usual’ deforestation alone could still drive global warming above 2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100.

And that’s not all. Scientific studies point to the fact that pandemics – such as the COVID-19 crisis with its devastating impact on lives and livelihoods – also become more likely as we increasingly destroy forests and encroach on nature . Only last week a new Science magazine[1] study showed how halting deforestation could be used as a measure to prevent pandemics.

Crucially, CDP’s latest report[2], Increasing transparency of banks: The transition to sustainable lending to the forest risk commodity sector, shows that banks play a much greater role in funding deforestation than previously thought.

The transformation to a net-zero economy brings opportunities for banks, whether through growing industries such as renewable energy, or rapidly adapting sectors like agriculture.

By taking action to assess their portfolios, banks can not only manage and mitigate their risk exposure but can seize the opportunity to reap the benefits of early action and be at the forefront of the change we need to see.

Ultimately, disclosure is the essential first step to drive environmental accountability. This is why CDP is working with banks to establish metrics to enable banks to better understand and manage their environmental risk exposure. helping them minimize the costs and maximize the benefits.

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