As the war in Ukraine drags on with no apparent end in sight, risks of nuclear escalation continue to loom in the background. Overt threats by Russia to use nuclear weapons over the last year have distressingly illustrated the inherent dangers of countries’ ongoing reliance and value placed on nuclear weapons to preserve international peace and security.
Fortunately, the financial sector is increasingly showing it can be an important actor for change. This report profiles 109 financial institutions that restrict or prohibit investments in companies involved in the development, production, testing, maintenance and stockpiling of nuclear weapons. The report includes financial institutions from Aotearoa/ New Zealand, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
By actively choosing ethically, environmentally and socially responsible investment practices, financial institutions can exert their influence over corporate behaviour. The growing numbers of financial institutions listed in this report provides a snapshot of the emerging norm within the financial sector to avoid companies contributing to existential risks. In addition to the increase in identified policies, the application of these policies is becoming more comprehensive, illustrating increased recognition within the financial sector of its role in not condoning the production of inhumane weapons.