Leading the way to combat the causes of climate change

Responding to climate change is the biggest challenge of past and present generations. At NatWest Group, we’re taking bold actions to drive the UK transition to a low carbon economy.

NatWest Group and COP26

We are determined to be a leading bank on addressing climate change.  Being one of the principal partners of COP26 is a clear demonstration of that.

How do we tackle climate change?

We're setting out a new ambition to be a leading bank in the UK & RoI helping to address the climate challenge; by making our own operations net carbon zero in 2020 and climate positive by 2025, and by driving material reductions in the climate impact of our financing activity. We're setting ourselves the challenge to at least halve the climate impact of our financing activity by 2030 and intend to do what is necessary to achieve alignment with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

This will be a great challenge; we, like others, do not yet fully understand what this will require and how it will be achieved, not least as there is currently no standard industry methodology or approach. Solving this will require UK and international industry, regulators and experts to come together and find solutions. We are determined to not just play our part, but to lead on the collaboration and cooperation that is so critical to influencing the transition to a low carbon economy.

Watch CEO Alison Rose talking about how NatWest Group is supporting Britain's transition to a low or zero-carbon economy, during a recent visit to sustainable energy customer Lightsource BP.

We have announced the following commitments:

Helping to end the most harmful activity:

  • Stop lending and underwriting to companies with more than 15% of activities related to coal, unless they have a credible transition plan in line with 2015 Paris Agreement by end of 2021; full phase-out from coal by 2030
  • Stop lending and underwriting to major oil and gas producers unless they have a credible transition plan in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement by the end of 2021

Accelerating the speed of transition:

  • Support our UK & RoI mortgage customers to become more energy efficient with an ambition that 50% of our mortgage book is at or above EPC C or equivalent rating of C by 2030
  • Create products and services, and collaborate cross-industry to enable customers to track their carbon impact
  • Support the drive to decarbonise UK transport sector through the Future Mobility Group. This is a multi-disciplined centre of excellence working across the Bank and emerging mobility eco-system to enable us to invest in the development of our product and service offering, in addition to enhancing our market and risk insight to maximise the support for the decarbonisation of UK surface transport
  • Coutts Asset Management has set a target to reduce the level of carbon intensity for the equity component of their portfolios by 25% by end of 2021

Championing climate solutions:

Embedding climate into culture and decision-making:

  • Quantify our total climate impact and define sector-level targets by 2022
  • Revise executive remuneration to reflect achieving climate targets

Further initiatives and partnerships are being developed and will be announced through the course of the year.

Our work so far:

  • Leading lender to UK renewables sector by number of transactions in the past decade (2009-2019)
  • £9.9bn to sustainable energy funding and financing provided to the sustainable energy sector between 2018-20 (£10bn target substantively met 1 year early)
  • Emissions from our own operations reduced by 61% since 2014
  • Market leading policies on reducing the most harmful activities, including on prohibitions on project financing for coal power plants, thermal coal mines, oil sand or arctic oil projects. In February, we announced further changes to our policy to prohibit project financing for fracking or oil and gas exploration
  • Founding signatory of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking which commits us aligning our strategy with the overall objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement
  • Jointly the first company globally to commit to all three of the Climate Group’s initiatives on electric vehicles (EV100), renewable energy (RE100) and energy productivity (EP100)
  • Climate-related Financial Disclosures – We are developing our disclosures in line with the Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), making our third disclosure in the 2019 Annual Report