(Bloomberg) -- Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc said it will cut the net greenhouse-gas emissions of its operations to zero this year and will be “climate positive” by 2025 when the company will capture more carbon than it emits.The Edinburgh-based bank, which announced the plans alongside its annual results on Friday, also said it will reduce the impact on climate change of its financing activity, which can include lending and underwriting, by at least half by 2030. It also pledged to double its funding and financing for climate and sustainable finance to 20 billion pounds ($26.1 billion) by 2022.Banks are under growing pressure from environmental groups to cut funding to businesses that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, such as coal plants or oil companies, and instead support climate-friendly projects. At the same time, institutional investors that are the largest shareholders of banks are facing greater scrutiny to account for the climate impact of their investments.RBS intends “to do what is necessary” to align its business with the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to limit global warming to significantly below 2 degrees, said Chief Executive Officer Alison Rose . “This will be a significant challenge as we, like others, do not yet fully understand what this will require and how it will be achieved,” she said.
The bank said it would stop making loans and underwriting debt for companies with more than 15% of activities related to coal, unless they have credible transition plans in line with the Paris Agreement’s temperature goals by the end of 2021. RBS also will fully phase out coal from its business by 2030 and it will stop financing major oil and gas producers without a Paris-aligned transition plan by 2021.
Rose said Friday that the bank will abandon its three-centuries-old name and slash its markets business as the state-controlled lender steps away from its tumultuous past. RBS will be renamed NatWest Group Plc and it’s almost halving the assets in NatWest Markets, which houses its investment bank.
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