One of world's biggest banks stops coal investments

 
One of the world’s biggest banks, London-based Standard Chartered PLC, has announced that it will not fund any new coal-fired power plant projects, including expansions, in any location. Since the start of this decade Standard Chartered had funded over 10,000 Megawatts of new coal power plants. Before its policy update, the bank was in line to finance three new coal power plants in Vietnam that would have added 700 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere each year. This is a huge change of direction and one desperately needed to prevent new dirty coal power being built around the world.

One of the world’s biggest banks, London-based Standard Chartered PLC, has announced that it will not fund any new coal-fired power plant projects, including expansions, in any location.

“The Group is today announcing that, save where there is an existing commitment, it will cease providing financing for new coal-fired power plants anywhere in the world, following detailed consultation with a range of stakeholders,” Standard Chartered states on its website.

Standard Chartered PLC operates a network of more than 1,200 branches and outlets across more than 70 countries and employs around 87,000 people. Around 90% of its profits come from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
A huge blow to the fossil fuel industry

“NGOs and community groups from around the world have been campaigning hard to convince Standard Chartered to rule out all new coal,” writes one of them, Australia-based Market Forces, calling the bank’s announcement “incredible news”.

“Although headquartered in the UK, Standard Chartered is … effectively based in Singapore. It is dominant in Southeast Asia, where over 100 Gigawatts of new coal power plants are proposed. Not a single one of them could be considered compatible with holding global warming below 2ºC.

“People and organisations from around the world had called on Standard Chartered to rule out new coal power plants in their policy update. Over an intense few months of campaigning, which involved tens of thousands of people writing to the bank, messages came in from almost every part of the world.

“Market Forces coordinated with global NGOs and groups in Vietnam to publish a full-page ad in the Asian Financial Times, insisting the bank's policy update rules out new coal completely and removes them from the three Vietnamese power stations they were in line to finance.

“It looks like the wishes of those people, especially our friends in Vietnam, have been met!

“To illustrate how significant this is, since the start of this decade Standard Chartered had funded over 10,000 Megawatts of new coal power plants. Before its policy update, the bank was in line to finance three new coal power plants in Vietnam that would have added 700 million tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere each year. This is a huge change of direction and one we desperately needed as we fight to prevent new dirty coal power being built around the world.

“Standard Chartered’s policy not only removes a critical source of finance for new coal power plants, but sends a powerful signal to other banks that need to do the same.

“While some banks have ruled out funding coal under certain conditions, this is the only policy that recognises the clear, scientific reality: if we’re to avoid runaway climate change we need to stop building dirty new coal power plants.

“Standard Chartered felt the full weight of public expectation, and understood we wanted the bank to be a clean energy leader.

“Help us acknowledge Standard Chartered’s leadership, and show other banks we want them to follow this lead by sharing the good news on social media!”

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