ZURICH (Reuters) - Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) will stop financing the development of new coal-fired power plants, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank said, a week after environmental groups urged it to act.
“The bank has decided to no longer provide any form of financing specifically related to the development of new coal-fired power plants. This is in addition to the bank’s existing policy of not providing any form of financing that is specifically related to the development of new greenfield thermal coal mines,” it said on Wednesday ahead of an investor day in London.
“This commitment also applies to cases where the majority of the use of proceeds is intended for the development of a new coal-fired power plant or a new greenfield thermal coal mine, respectively.”
Credit Suisse was among 10 big European banks challenged by environmental groups to sever lending to utilities which they say are developing new coal-fired power plants.
A United Nations report last year said almost all coal-fired power plants would need to close by the middle of this century to help curb a rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the level scientists say is needed to stave off the worst effects of climate change.
German environmental pressure group Urgewald and BankTrack, an NGO focused on banks and the activities they finance, said an analysis of the 10 most active European lenders to companies which are still planning or developing new coal plants indicated total debt funding had risen to $56 billion between 2017 and the end of September 2019.
Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael Shields