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Pledge targets tobacco financing

26 Sep 2018. Finance leaders have launched The Tobacco-Free Finance Pledge which encourages signatories, including global finance institutions that represent USD trillions in capital, to end tobacco industry lending, insurance and investment, according to a press release from the not-for-profit Tobacco Free Portfolios.

Announced at a high-level event on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, the pledge seeks to align business and finance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in order to reduce the death toll caused by smoking.

The pledge was launched with 120 signatories, such as finance institutions, who collectively represent over USD 6.4 trillion (EUR 5.44 trillion) in managed assets, USD 1.8 trillion in corporate loan books and USD 179 billion in insurance premiums, the press release said.

“The finance sector has long been a missing piece in tobacco control, treating tobacco as a ‘normal’ participant in the global economy and financing the industry through lending, insurance and investment. This public declaration of support for tobacco-free finance, and the call to others to follow suit is a decisive step, highlighted by increasing momentum and change,” Tobacco-Free Portfolios said.

The event was sponsored by the French and Australian governments and the pledge was initiated by Tobacco-Free Portfolios, the press release said.