Financial institutions in South Korea, one of the world’s top funders of coal, have failed to keep up with their global peers in setting policies to exit the dirtiest fossil fuel, an activist group said.
Seoul-based non-profit Solutions for Our Climate assessed 100 companies, including banks, asset managers, securities firms and insurers in South Korea, and found 97 of them have insufficient policies in place to phase out coal. While nearly two-thirds have made pledges to exit coal, those actions are only related to new projects, the report showed.
Financial companies across the globe are facing growing pressure to take action in addressing their role in financing climate change. Shareholders have been actively seeking changes to ensure banks’ investing practices don’t add to new fossil-fuel supplies.
Global investors have been increasingly focused on South Korea’s financing of foreign coal developments. The Asian nation was the third-largest public financier of overseas coal projects among G20 countries between 2018 and 2020, ranking above the U.S. and India, Oil Change International said in a separate report last year.