We are setting out a bold 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 are 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.
We have announced the following commitments:
• Helping to end the most harmful activity by progressively withdrawing support from non net zero aligned activity in the coal, oil and gas sectors, if they do not have credible transition plans in line with the Paris Agreement in place by end of 2021
• Accelerating the speed of transition by supporting our customers to increase their energy efficiency and decarbonise transport. We have set an ambition that 50% of our mortgage book will have an EPC or equivalent rating of C or above by 2030
• Championing climate solutions, with an additional £20bn funding and financing for Climate and Sustainable finance between now and 2022 and aiming to reserve at least 25% of places in our Entrepreneur accelerator hubs for businesses supporting environmental activities. (Find out more about our Climate and Sustainable Finance Inclusion Criteria here)
• And we will transform the impact of our own operations with a commitment to making our own footprint net carbon zero in 2020 and climate positive by 2025.
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
• £10bn to sustainable energy funding and financing between 2018-20 (target substantively met 1 year early)
• Reduced our emissions from our own operations 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. We have announced further changes to our policies today to prohibit project financing for fracking or oil and gas exploration.
Watch CEO Alison Rose talking about how RBS is supporting Britain’s transition to a low or zero-carbon economy, during a recent visit to sustainable energy customer Lightsource BP.