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Business, Human Rights and Climate Due Diligence: Understanding the Responsibility of Banks

Law Group, Wageningen University and Research, Hollandseweg 1, 6706 KN Wageningen, The Netherlands
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Academic Editors: Olga Martin-Ortega, Valerie Nelson, Renginee G. Pillay and Fatimazahra Dehbi
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8391; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158391
Received: 2 June 2021 / Revised: 19 July 2021 / Accepted: 20 July 2021 / Published: 27 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Business, Human Rights and the Environment)
Under the 2011 UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), banks, like all businesses, have a responsibility to respect human rights and to carry out human rights due diligence. Although climate due diligence is not explicitly included in the UNGPs, tackling an enterprise’s direct and indirect climate change impacts is arguably a dimension of the corporate responsibility to respect human rights and should form part of the human rights due diligence process. At present, it is unclear how such responsibility applies to banks, whose contribution to climate change is mostly indirect. This article addresses the research question: how should the law be interpreted to form a coherent climate due diligence standard for banks? To address it, the article first maps out the climate responsibility of banks under international soft law standards and assesses privately developed guidance. It then elucidates the emerging concept of climate due diligence, reading climate change responsibilities into the now well-established corporate responsibility to respect human rights as authoritatively elaborated in the UNGPs. Finally, it explains how such normative standard applies to banks and unpacks the key elements that a bank’s climate due diligence process should include. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; human rights; due diligence; banks; UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights climate change; human rights; due diligence; banks; UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
MDPI and ACS Style

Macchi, C.; Bernaz, N. Business, Human Rights and Climate Due Diligence: Understanding the Responsibility of Banks. Sustainability 2021, 13, 8391. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158391

AMA Style

Macchi C, Bernaz N. Business, Human Rights and Climate Due Diligence: Understanding the Responsibility of Banks. Sustainability. 2021; 13(15):8391. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158391

Chicago/Turabian Style

Macchi, Chiara, and Nadia Bernaz. 2021. "Business, Human Rights and Climate Due Diligence: Understanding the Responsibility of Banks" Sustainability 13, no. 15: 8391. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13158391

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