The bank expected to reduce its financing of thermal coal projects “over time” in line with national agendas on emissions.
The policy comes as pressure mounts on financial institutions to cut lending to fossil fuel projects because of the carbon emissions they generate, contributing to global warming.
The policy statement follows Coal Fired Power Finance Policy last year in which it only agreed to finance in future ultra super-critical power stations where emissions were less than 750g CO²/kWh and considered ineligible supercritical power stations generating 500MW or more.
Standard says it will evaluate projects on a case-by-case basis, assessing the need for power in the country where the mine or power plant is situated and will ensure compliance with environmental and social laws.
“We are now looking to accelerate the pace at which banks and other institutions disclose and manage climate-change risks.”
According to the South African government’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) a roadmap document aimed at setting out how the country’s energy will be supplied by 2030, thermal coal will be 59% of the energy pie by 2030 down from over 85% currently.
Standard Bank reported flat earnings for the year to end December, dragged down by losses of US$248 million (R3.8 billion) at its struggling London-based joint venture with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and a sluggish economy in the country.
Standard Bank said ICBC Standard (ICBCS) reported a US$248m loss during the period, with a single client costing its US$198m while restructuring costs rising US$30m and operations US$20m.