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64% of Irish people more concerned about climate change now than a year ago

Written by Robert McHugh, on 25th Oct 2019. Posted in General

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New research published by Bank of Ireland shows that 91% of Irish adults are concerned about the issue of sustainability, with 64% more concerned about climate change now than they were 12 months ago. Some 83% believe that climate change will impact on them in their lifetime.

The research shows that while 6 out of 10 agree that banks in Ireland have a role to play in financing the transition to a low carbon economy, green initiatives launched by Irish banks have yet to make an impact in the public sphere. Some 70% believe that financial institutions are not doing enough in terms of their sustainability efforts.

This comes after Bank of Ireland Group Chief Executive, Francesca McDonagh signed the United Nations Environment Programme - Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking at the UN Headquarters in New York City this week.

The programme has been developed through a partnership between banks globally and the UNEP FI and provides a framework for a sustainable banking industry. The UN Principles intend to help align the banking sector with the objectives of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Bank of Ireland’s Responsible & Sustainable Business Initiatives include:
· 50% carbon intensity reduction target for 2030
· €1bn Sustainable Finance Fund to support personal and business customers
· Green Mortgage Interest Rate – borrowers can receive a discount of 0.2% off fixed rate interest options for any energy efficient homes
· Green Home Improvement Loan – designed to fund energy efficient upgrades, borrowers offered loan at 6.5% (Variable APR) for amounts from €2,000 to €65,000.
· Green Business Loan – discounted finance offered to businesses who want to implement energy saving initiatives to reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint.
· Providing finance to Wind Energy projects which has funded the equivalent of c.450,000 homes with green energy to date

Speaking this week, Francesca McDonagh outlined Bank of Ireland’s role in shaping a sustainable future, "Our research clearly signals that Irish people are increasingly concerned about environmental issues impacting their lives and believe that banks need to do more.  Signing the UNEP FI principles is a key step in Bank of Ireland’s Responsible and Sustainable Business journey, signifying our commitment to be part of the global drive for more responsible banking operations."

Ireland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Geraldine Byrne Nason added, "It is important that we collectively take responsibility to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement. I am glad to see Irish Banks take action in this regard as part of their ongoing business strategy."

Source: www.businessworld.ie

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