May 29, 2018 Read More →

Royal Bank of Scotland Ends Financing for New Coal Projects

The Guardian:

Royal Bank of Scotland will no longer fund Arctic oil projects and has pledged to cut lending to firms profiting largely from coal as part of an updated energy policy.

The changes cover the mining, power and oil and gas sectors and are aimed at taking a tougher line on climate change. They mean the bank will not provide “project-specific finance” to new coal-fired power stations, new thermal coal mines, oil sands or Arctic oil projects, or those involved in “unsustainable” vegetation or peatland clearing.

RBS will also tighten restrictions on general lending to mining firms that source more than 40% of their revenues from thermal coal, and power companies that generate over 40% of their electricity from coal. The former threshold was 65%.

Its efforts have been commended by the responsible investment group ShareAction, which has been pushing a number of firms to ramp up their environmental sustainability policies. ShareAction’s project manager, Sonia Hierzig, said: “The strengthened energy financing policies of RBS implement many of ShareAction’s recommendations for more robust management of climate-related risks. They also make RBS the bank with the strongest energy sector policies out of the top five UK banks.”

RBS’ director of sustainable banking, Kirsty Britz, said: “If we’re going to support our customers in the long run, then it means addressing the challenge of climate change and the risks and opportunities it presents. We want to help build a cleaner, more sustainable economy for the future, and these policy changes form part of our broader approach to this major issue.”

More: RBS Cuts Lending to new Coal and Arctic Oil Projects

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