NatWest stops new loans for coal projects
NatWest will stop further lending to coal projects on Thursday as world leaders meet to discuss the energy transition at a climate change conference in Glasgow.
Managing Director Alison Rose has pledged not to lend any new money to the sector and phase out all of its current coal loans in the UK by 2024 and globally by the end of the decade.
“It is an important aspect to put an end to the damage caused by the activity as well as to finance the transition”, she declared on the sidelines of the Cop26 conference.
Coal is one of the dirtiest ways to generate electricity to power homes and businesses.
Our exposure to oil and gas represents 0.8% of our balance sheet, our coal is less than 0.5% of our balance sheet. These are not physical parts, but we recognize the importance of removing them
It is also frequently used in heavy industry.
The bank will continue to work with oil and gas companies, as long as they have a transition plan in place by the end of this year to move towards a greener future.
“We have always said that we would work with clients where there is a credible transition plan aligned with Paris,” Ms. Rose said.
Businesses must also move forward on the plan by 2025, she said.
Ms. Rose added, “Our exposure to oil and gas is 0.8% of our balance sheet, our coal is less than 0.5% of our balance sheet. These are not physical pieces, but we recognize the importance of removing them.
However, she said the transition to net zero would not be painless despite the bank’s low exposure to “damaging activity.”
“We said we wanted to cut our funding emissions in half over the next 10 years,” she said.
“There are sectors that produce emissions, so the housing sector, the agricultural sector, all that. In order to develop a reduction in the emissions of these loans, we will have to work very closely in collaboration with the public and private sectors, ”she said.
“So yes, our exposure to the harmful activity is very, very low. But the bulk of the work we have to do is work with our clients on the overall transition.
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