Financial Institutions Are Taking Climate Action with the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials

In an interview with The Climate Champions podcast series, Guidehouse discusses the role of financial institutions in fighting climate change

The Paris Climate Agreement generated momentum among global organizations to engage on climate action, and financial institutions have been embracing climate change mitigation initiatives—which can also help them manage their loan and investment risk.

In an interview with The Climate Champions podcast series, Giel Linthorst, director at Guidehouse and Executive Director of the Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF)* Secretariat, discusses PCAF and its work to mitigate climate change. Formed after the Paris Agreement, PCAF began as a way for financial institutions to understand and measure the climate impact of their investment portfolios. It has already gained nearly 200 financial institution signatories.

“PCAF was very successful in bringing global standards to life within about a year,” explained Linthorst. “The initiative developed the Global Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Reporting Standard for the Financial Industry, which is now integrated into the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)—an important task force under the Financial Stability Board.”

The podcast discussion also focused on Linthorst’s motivation for climate change mitigation work, the urgency behind climate action,  the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on PCAF operations, successes and challenges that the initiative has faced, and Linthorst’s outlook for the future of climate action. 

“We face a massive transition—and have very limited time for this transition, if we want to stick to a temperature increase of 1.5 degrees Celsius," said Linthorst. "We're dedicated to contributing and hope others are too, but we depend heavily on global policies; policymakers and governments have to step up.”

*Guidehouse serves as the organization's secretariat.

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