We have launched our inaugural 2020 NatWest Group Climate related disclosures report, which will provide you with a deeper insight into the work we are doing to tackle climate change – one of the most important issues, and opportunities, of our time.
For more information on our climate strategy, governance, risk management and metrics and targets, please read our full 2020 NatWest Group Climate related disclosures report (PDF 9.8MB).
Our Purpose-led strategy
We recognise that climate change is a critical global issue which has significant implications for our customers, employees, suppliers, partners and therefore NatWest Group itself. Taking the necessary actions to address climate change has the potential to create jobs, transform communities and touch every family in the country. Our ambition is to be a leading bank in the UK and RoI helping to address the climate challenge. Climate is a key area of focus in our Purpose-led strategy, alongside Enterprise and Learning. To tackle climate change, we must think long term and act quickly, working in partnership with others to achieve together, what cannot be achieved alone.
Our climate ambition
As signatories of the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, we are committed to an ongoing process to align our strategy with the 2015 Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our climate ambition strives to make a positive contribution towards SDGs 7, 13 & 17.
Our ambition to be a leading bank in the UK and RoI in helping to address the climate challenge is supported by the following key areas of activity:
Aligning with the 2015 Paris Agreement
In February 2020, we set 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. So far, we have focused on developing the initial preliminary financed emissions estimates for four sectors and in 2021 we intend to continue to broaden our analysis to other sectors. In addition to the baseline absolute emissions and emission intensity estimates, we have also prepared initial estimates of emission intensities required for alignment with the 2015 Paris Agreement in 2030 and 2050.
In 2020, NatWest Group was the first major UK bank to join Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials and later in 2020 we also joined the Science Based Targets initiative.
Helping to end the most harmful activities
We will also stop lending and underwriting major oil and gas producers, unless they have a credible transition plan in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement by the end of 2021 and we also plan a full phase-out from coal by 2030. We have developed a methodology to assess the credibility of transition plans of customers in the oil and gas and coal sectors, and have already reduced oil and gas lending exposure by £0.8 billion during 2020.
Building powerful partnerships
We will build powerful partnerships to make the biggest impact. We will work with policy makers, customers, businesses and industry bodies to bring about significant change, at speed. As members of United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative we were proud to become a founding signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking in September 2019. We are committed to an ongoing process to align our strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement. We recognise the commitment in the 2015 Paris Agreement to making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development. As a result, we are using our convening power and building significant partnerships to bring about a greener, fairer and more inclusive economy for all. In our role as COP26 principal banking partner, we want to show how to lead the way in helping people and businesses across the UK to tackle climate change. By providing access to the financial resources and expertise required, we can drive the necessary change.
A greener future
We know the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on people, families and businesses across the UK. We understand that, for many, their immediate priority is to weather the current health crisis and the extremely challenging economic environment. We will continue to do everything we can to support our customers through this period.
We are equally clear that climate change is one of the most important issues we face. We know we must act now if we are to build a resilient economy for the future. This means not just preparing ourselves and our customers for change but also looking at how we can help our customers to take advantage of the many opportunities transitioning to a low carbon economy.
To find out more on how we are managing reputational and environmental, social and ethical (ESE) risks please visit the relevant pages:
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