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Equitable Climate Finance: Bridging the Gap for Minority Banks

Community addressing climate change
Supporting sustainability in underserved communities

The National Bankers Association (NBA) has long advocated for and recognized the urgent need to address climate change and its adverse impact on communities of color. But now more than ever, it’s imperative that minority-owned and -operated banks are given the tools not to be left behind as the future intersection of lending and sustainability is here.

To shed light on the current state of Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) and the urgency of addressing climate change, the National Bankers Association and the National Bankers Association Foundation researched climate-related challenges and their impact on the banking industry and its underserved communities. Our research found that “zip codes with an MDI branch have higher climate risk exposure, especially for heat and wind risk, but also for flood and fire risk.” (Source: NBA) That’s why driving dollars into our banks is a crucial first step in equipping often overlooked cities and towns to come out ahead on the other side of this climate crisis.

The National Bankers Association is advocating for a more sustainable and inclusive financial services industry to support these efforts. As a member of the Community Builders of Color Coalition, a national people of color-led initiative created to ensure underserved communities can equitably benefit from the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), the Association is ensuring this work reaches all minority-owned and -operated banks, not just our member banks.

The GGRF aims to support initiatives that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, promote renewable energy sources, and enhance climate resilience in communities. As an organization, we want to guarantee that our banks receive adequate financial support to combat climate change and build a sustainable future. That’s why we were proud to join the first-ever coalition applying for GGRF grants on behalf of minority banks.

The National Bankers Association 2023 Annual Conference features a session dedicated to “The Future of Climate Finance” to further highlight the importance of assuring MDIs and community lenders are equipped for climate finance opportunities. This session aims to gather experts and stakeholders to discuss innovative approaches to finance climate-related projects, promote sustainable investment practices, and increase awareness about the need for climate resilience throughout the financial services industry. Attendees will walk away with valuable insights into climate finance, the EPA’s latest program, and practical ways we can all contribute to The Emerging Trends in Banking.

By actively advocating for sustainable finance practices and organizing events like the National Bankers Association Annual Conference, the Association creates a platform for collaboration and innovation. Collective efforts are required to effectively address climate risks, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build resilient communities. Join the National Bankers Association in our mission to create a sustainable future at our conference and support initiatives that promote climate finance. Be a part of the conversation shaping the future of banking.


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