Tuesday, August 17, 2021
NatWest Group completed £9.5 billion of climate and sustainable funding and financing in the first half of the year, exceeding its target of £20 billion in 2020-2021 six months early.
The £9.5 billion of funding and financing comprised £6.3 billion in NatWest Markets, £2.5 billion in Commercial Banking and £0.6 billion in RBS International.
NatWest Group has an ambition to play a leading role in championing climate solutions by supporting its customers’ transition towards a low carbon, climate resilient and sustainable economy through climate and sustainable funding and financing.
James Close, Director of Climate Change at NatWest Group, said:
“At NatWest Group, we are helping to accelerate the speed of the transition to a low carbon economy by working with and helping our customers to deliver climate-friendly projects and solutions.
We are pleased to have met our target to provide £20 billion of climate and sustainable funding and financing to our customers six months early – demonstrating the appetite and pace of the transition.
We are proud to be the banking sponsor of the COP26 climate summit and will continue to encourage the necessary action and pace of change needed to decarbonise the economy by working across the financial services sector to raise ambition and with our customers to support their transition.”
In its first HY disclosure on climate, ESG and purpose targets to be published by the bank, NatWest Group also reported a £0.6 billion reduction in lending to sectors exposed to heightened climate-related risk impacts.
Total exposure to the Oil and Gas sector decreased by £0.7 billion during H1 2021 to £3.5 billion due to net repayments and the tighter lending criteria now in place for this sector. At 30 June 2021, exposure to Oil and Gas majors amounted to £1.1 billion, compared with £1.3 billion at 31 December 2020, representing c.31% of the total exposure to the Oil and Gas sector.
NatWest Group has committed to align its portfolio and lending with the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and make its financed emissions net zero by 2050.
It is supporting its retail and business customers to understand and reduce their carbon emissions, such as through its collaborations with CoGo and Microsoft, and through products and services such as its Green Mortgage. In the first half of the year, NatWest Group completed Green Mortgages with a value of £431 million.
Earlier this year, the bank signed up to the Net Zero Banking Alliance commitments, which includes transitioning all operational and financed emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest. The bank had previously said it would halve the climate impact of its financing activity by 2030, having reached net zero carbon on its own operations last year.
As the banking sponsor of the COP26 climate summit, NatWest Group’s membership of this global alliance demonstrates its commitment to work collaboratively with its peers, policy makers and other stakeholders to play its part in bringing about significant change at speed and build a more climate-resilient economy.