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Credit Suisse becomes signatory to Poseidon Principles

Credit Suisse today announces that it has become a signatory to the Poseidon Principles. In doing so, the bank commits to enhancing the role of maritime finance in addressing global environmental issues, and to the goal of reducing shipping’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050 compared to 2008. This step is a testament to the bank’s efforts to fight climate change.

As part of its Climate Risk Strategy, Credit Suisse today announced at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos that it became part of a group of now 16 financial organizations that have signed the Poseidon Principles. The Principles – developed by the Global Maritime Forum, the inter-disciplinary global maritime industry body – were launched in June 2019 and are a global framework for assessing and disclosing the climate alignment of financial institutions’ shipping portfolios. They establish a common, global baseline to quantitatively assess and disclose whether financial institutions’ lending portfolios are in line with adopted climate goals. The Principles are consistent with the policies and ambitions of the International Maritime Organization (“IMO”), including its ambition to reduce shipping’s total annual greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions by at least 50% by 2050 based on 2008 levels. Thus they also serve as an important tool to support responsible decision-making.

Today, 16 financial institutions are signatories to the Poseidon Principles, representing a bank loan portfolio to global shipping of approximately USD 140 billion – a growing proportion of the estimated global ship finance portfolio. Credit Suisse is one of the world’s leading ship financiers, having been lending in the maritime industry for over 75 years and its signature of the Poseidon Principles evidences the bank’s commitment to the next generation of maritime assets.

Credit Suisse is seeking to align its credit portfolio with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and has launched a global and Group-wide Climate Risk Strategy in August 2019 with a three-pronged approach. Firstly, the bank aims to work with its clients to support their transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient business models, and further integrate climate change into its risk management models. Secondly, Credit Suisse endeavours to focus on delivering sustainable finance solutions that help clients achieve their goals and make a contribution to the realisation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals; and thirdly, the bank aims to reduce the carbon footprint of its own operations.

Lara Warner, Chief Risk Officer, said: “The financial industry has a key role to play in combatting climate change and Credit Suisse intends to take a leading position in the transition to a low-carbon and climate-friendly economy. Our Climate Risk Strategy, introduced in August 2019, will fundamentally transform the way we support our clients going forward. Our business is going to change, and the signing of the Poseidon Principles as well as our recent announcement to no longer finance new coal-fired power plants are just two examples of how seriously we take our commitment.”

Philipp Wehle, CEO International Wealth Management, said: “We support our clients in identifiying opportunities when entire sectors of the economy are in transition. This also applies to the shipping industry, where we will work with the Poseidon Principle's co-signatories to make financing portfolios more sustainable and reduce GHG emissions significantly. Our announcement today underscores our clear and continued commitment to support our clients on their path to a low-carbon emitting shipping industry.”