Standard Chartered PLC “the Group” today announced further steps that it is taking to meet its commitment to supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Group has publicly reported its own greenhouse gas emissions for over a decade, and having achieved its long-term 2008-19 energy use targets ahead of schedule, set new science-based emissions targets in August 2018.
Standard Chartered’s remaining climate impacts come primarily from the businesses and clients it finances and supports. The Group is undertaking to develop a methodology to measure, manage and ultimately reduce the emissions related to its activities and those related to the financing of its clients.
As part of this, 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.
Achieving the aims of the Paris Agreement mean that steps need to be taken to reduce emissions more broadly, and encourage the development of more carbon efficient products and services. As part of its sustainability aspirations, Standard Chartered has already committed to finance and facilitate $4 billion in clean technology by 2020, and is more than halfway toward meeting that goal.
The task of measuring aggregate emissions is complex and ambitious and the methodology will take time to develop, recognising that its impact will go beyond Standard Chartered. It will build on Standard Chartered’s work with Oxford University to develop innovative tools to understand the climate risks of its utilities clients, and its commitment to finding industry wide solutions to these issues through membership of the Science Based Targets Expert Advisory Group.
Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters said: “Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges society has to address. More than 1.1 billion people still do not have access to reliable power but recent developments in technology mean that alternative sources are increasingly available to meet that need without the impact of coal-fired power on the environment. Our decision to stop financing coal power is a first step in a set of more substantive actions to which we are now committing, in order to understand the CO2 emissions our financing supports. We intend to work transparently and with other banks, our respective clients and other stakeholders to reduce the impact, over time.”
The Group also recognises the vital importance of honouring its existing commitments to clients; there are currently 14 project financing facilities in seven markets, which fund coal-power stations, and Standard Chartered will continue to honour those facilities.
This announcement forms part of the Group’s updated position statement on power generation, one of a series of public statements which set out the conditions under which it will support the activities of clients which operate in sectors that have a high potential environmental or social impact.
The Group’s updated position statement on power generation builds on its 2016 commitment not to provide financing for new standalone, non-captive thermal coal mines. Financing for coal-fired plants has been added to the Group’s prohibited activities list, which includes restrictions involving child and forced labour, trade in endangered wildlife, Arctic and tar-sands exploration and production and conversion or degradation of high-value forests and peatlands, among other activities. The full prohibited activities list can be found on our website.
The Group’s position statements support the Group’s Sustainability Philosophy which outlines how Standard Chartered considers and balances social, environment and economic needs, and best serves the clients and communities in which it operates.
For further information please contact:
Head, Business Communications
Tel: +65 9005 9067
Executive Director, Group Media Relations
Tel: +44 20 7885 5934