Our approach to climate change
We champion potential; breaking down barriers and building financial confidence so the 19 million people, families and businesses we serve in communities up and down the country can rebuild and thrive. 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 and 2021 highlights
It was a huge honour for NatWest Group to be a principal partner of COP26. We wanted to demonstrate how we can support our customers, and to ensure that we will play a leading role in the global coalition of financial services organisations tackling climate change.
We have committed to an ambitious new goal of providing an additional £100 billion of Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing between 1 July 2021 and the end of 2025. Not only are we aligning capital in a more sustainable way, but we also know that it makes good business sense.
We signed up to the UK government’s joint declaration on accelerating the transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles. We’re also a founding member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, helping to accelerate the global energy transition by committing to fully phase out from coal by 1 January 2030.
As part of our climate ambition announced in February 2020, we stated that we planned to stop lending and underwriting to major oil and gas producers unless they had a credible transition plan aligned with the 2015 Paris Agreement in place by the end of 2021. While the oil and gas sector continues to play a critical role in UK energy security and the transition to clean energy, NatWest Group recognises the significant climate, environmental and social risks associated with it. As a result, we have tightened our oil and gas ESE policy:
From 1 January 2022, we will only continue to support upstream oil and gas companies:
- where the majority of their assets being financed are based in the UK (onshore or offshore UK Continental shelf); and,
- where those companies report to us the overall emissions of the assets they operate by the end of 2023.
In 2021, we also classified ‘Biodiversity and Nature Loss’ as a formal emerging risk for NatWest Group. In time, our aim is to be able to help our customers become ‘nature positive’ by reducing negative impacts and increasing restoration of natural capital. Read more on our Biodiversity and climate change page.
A leading bank in the UK in helping to address the climate challenge
Our climate ambition is underpinned by the following key areas of activity: