September 20, 2021

FirstRand to cease financing of new coal power stations

FirstRand Ltd, Africa’s greatest financial institution by market worth, is ending its funding of new coal-fired power stations instantly and can halt the financing of new tasks to mine the gasoline over the subsequent 5 years.

The Johannesburg-based lender joins its peer Nedbank Group Ltd in making such commitments as strain mounts on banks to shun fossil-fuel lending from buyers and activists.

Whereas South Africa’s largest banks are lowering their publicity to actions that pollute the setting, they’ve set differing timelines to have in mind the nation’s reliance on coal.

“It is the long-term ambition of FirstRand to be net zero by 2050,” it mentioned in its up to date coverage revealed on Wednesday. The financial institution can even scale back its short- and medium-term limits on its general coal publicity, it mentioned.

South Africa depends on coal for nearly all of its electrical energy and exports the gasoline to nations together with China and India. Its carbon emissions rival these of the UK, an economic system eight instances its measurement.

Different South African banks reminiscent of Investec Ltd and Customary Financial institution Group Ltd are additionally pursuing plans that encourage purchasers to go for greener applied sciences.

FirstRand, proprietor of retail lender FNB and Rand Service provider Financial institution, sees its transition pathway assuming a gradual discount in coal manufacturing and ending use from 2025 to 2030 as Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd decommissions 5 of its coal-fired power stations and as world demand for exports of the gasoline declines, it mentioned.

“The pathway assumes the end of coal as the core energy source of South Africa between 2042 and 2049,” it mentioned.

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