Responding to the announcement from RBS that it will stop financing new coal projects as well as the exploration and extraction of tar sands, Christian Aid’s Senior Private Sector Adviser, Keval Bharadia, said:
“We’ve been watching carefully to see which UK bank would be the first to introduce a global ban on financing coal power projects and RBS has won that prize. This pipeline of finance is crucial to whether or not we will successfully tackle climate change. If the money keeps flowing to these projects then the dirtiest energy sources like coal will continue to be burned and the world’s poor will continue to suffer the consequences of climate change.
“We now need to see Barclays and HSBC follow suit and join the ranks of responsible project lenders. They recently announced new energy policies but only delivered half-hearted measures that mean they are still profiting from the dirtiest energy industries. We urge them, and Standard Chartered who are yet to make an announcement, to introduce global bans on coal power projects immediately.”
Whilst RBS has banned project finance to a range of fossil fuel projects, it will continue to provide general lending to coal companies but with tighter restrictions. It will only deal with coal companies that derive less than 40% of their revenues from thermal coal or less than 40% of their electricity from coal.