(Friday 5th November, London) ShareAction has responded to new coal policy announcements from banks Credit Suisse and NatWest.
Credit Suisse taking timid steps
Jeanne Martin, Senior Campaign Manager says: “On the same day as Switzerland committed to stop financing fossil fuels abroad by the end of 2022, Credit Suisse took a timid step towards further reducing its exposure to the coal sector by publishing a new coal policy. We welcome the bank tightening its coal revenue thresholds over time and committing to phase out from coal, even though we are concerned by the bank retaining the possibility to fund coal companies for “energy transition” purposes, without really defining what those mean.
Of greater concern is that the Swiss bank made no changes to its inadequate oil and gas policy, which is mostly centred on project finance, allowing continued corporate financing of these companies.
For several years ShareAction has engaging with Credit Suisse and its shareholders on the contents of the bank’s fossil fuel policy to make sure it is in line with 1.5C and incorporates the latest scientific findings. We urge the bank to listen to our calls and publish a new and ambitious oil and gas policy ahead of its 2022 AGM season.”
NatWest's commitment needs a closer look
Martin says: “NatWest has made the headlines today by joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance. People would be forgiven for thinking the bank had committed to fully phase out from coal. However, whilst we congratulate the bank for taking a strong stance on coal developers, a close look at their new coal policy suggests that the bank defines this as not financing companies that get more than 15% of revenues from coal – an incredibly high and inappropriate threshold. As a main sponsor of COP26 we urge NatWest to commit to a real and full phase out from coal – with no exceptions.”