Citi, Societe Generale and DNB are among the 11 global shipping banks that have agreed to lend to freight companies based on their carbon footprint in order to help protect the climate and promote green operations.

Other founding signatories include ABN Amro, Amsterdam Trade Bank, Credit Agricole CIB, Danish Ship Finance, Danske Bank, DVB, ING and Nordea. These banks represent almost 20% of the ship finance portfolio worldwide.

The banks partnered with Rocky Mountain Institute, Global Maritime Forum and UCL Energy Institute to prepare the framework, known as Poseidon Principles.

The lending framework will evaluate and reveal whether the bank’s lending portfolios are consistent with the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO’s) climate goals, adopted last year. IMO’s climate goals seek to cut emissions by up to 50% by 2050.

It is the first time that these lenders are collectively integrating a climate alignment strategy into their lending decisions.

The global lenders represent a bank loan portfolio to global shipping companies of approximately $100bn.

Citi shipping and logistics global industry head Michael Parker said: “As banks, we recognise that our role in the shipping industry enables us to promote responsible environmental stewardship.

“The Poseidon Principles will not only serve our institutions to improve decision making at a strategic level but will also shape a better future for the shipping industry and our society.”

Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking shipping and offshore global head Paul Taylor said: “The Poseidon Principles offer significant benefits to the global shipping industry and society and they allow us as banks to align and de-risk our portfolios in line with shipping’s green transition.”

“We recognise that our role in the shipping industry enables us to promote responsible environmental stewardship.”

Data released by the IMO shows that international shipping accounts for almost 2.2% of world CO2 emissions.

In 2018, the IMO implemented additional climate regulations in a bid to cut sulphur emissions from ships by 2020.