September 25, 2018 Read More →

U.K.’s Standard Chartered to end coal plant financing

Bloomberg:

Standard Chartered Plc said it will stop financing new coal-fired power plants anywhere in the world as part of its commitment to supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The move follows “detailed consultation with a range of stakeholders,” according to a statement Tuesday from the London-based bank. Environmental degradation, extreme weather and rising seas are among the climate change legacies left by burning coal, it read.

Standard Chartered said its existing commitments were excluded from its new policy on coal energy. It currently has 14 project financing facilities in seven markets, which fund coal-power stations. A spokesman for the bank declined to say how much money it currently held in coal projects.

HSBC Holdings Plc, Société Générale SA and Deutsche Bank AG are among banks which have made similar pledges. Japanese lenders, among the biggest funders of coal projects, have also begun to shift towards more climate-friendly policies.

Since 2010, Standard Chartered has loaned at least $1.8 billion to coal power, including $820 million to projects that added 10.6 gigawatts of additional coal power capacity, according to research by Market Forces, which lobbies financial firms and governments on environmental issues.

Standard Chartered’s initiative marks an advance on Japanese and other lenders active in Southeast Asia, according to Julien Vincent, an executive director at Market Forces, “The fact that Standard Chartered was involved in syndicates for three coal power plants in Vietnam prior to this update makes it even more impactful,” Vincent said. “That’s three dirty coal projects, which would produce almost 700 million tonnes of CO2 per year, that will now need to look elsewhere for finance.”

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