JOHANNESBURG – Standard Bank has committed to reducing exposure to thermal coal over time.
The lender said in its Thermal Coal Mining Policy which was published on Thursday that the group would not finance mountain top removal mining activities.
The policy was published after shareholders voted for the firm to disclose its policy on lending to coal-fired power projects and coal mining operations during the annual general meeting held last May.
"Standard Bank’s financing of thermal coal mining is expected to reduce overtime in line with the expected reduction in the contribution of thermal coal to the energy mix of the countries within which we operate as they pursue the implementation of a just transition to reduced thermal coal-derived energy supply, as countries implement their national determined contributions to reducing GHG emissions as per the Paris Agreement," said Standard Bank.
The lender said that in evaluating thermal coal mining transactions, it would consider, compliance with international conventions, standards and treaties regarding greenhouse gas emissions in host countries.
It also said that the policy required all its thermal coal mining clients to comply with the domestic mining laws and license provisions; as well as the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) laws and regulations of the countries within which they operate.
Besides, Standard Bank said that it would consider the extent to which the client complied with relevant industry good practice and other applicable standards that aimed to minimise the adverse ESG impacts of thermal coal mining activities.
Last year it was reported that Nedbank, Standard Bank and FirstRand — would no longer fund new coal-fired power assets.