Standard Chartered commits US$75bn towards financing sustainable development projects

GLOBALStandard Chartered Bank has announced new business targets for supporting its clients as they transition to a low carbon economy as part of its Sustainability Aspirations.

By the end of 2024, the Bank commits to providing USD40 billion of project financing services for infrastructure that promotes sustainable development.

Standard Chartered also committed to providing USD35 billion of project financing services, M&A advisory and debt structuring services for renewables and clean tech projects (solar and wind).

Underpinning the aspirations, Standard Chartered also intends to reduce its emissions across its global properties by 2030.

“We know that the investment required cannot be provided by governments and NGOs alone, so it is critical that investors embrace the Sustainable Development Goals at pace and scale,” said Tracey MCDermott, Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing.

With an office footprint spanning 60 countries, including many large emerging markets, the Bank said it will achieve net zero emissions by only sourcing energy from renewable sources and continuing to pursue energy efficiency measures across its 12 million square feet of property.

According to McDermott, the Bank was also ceasing support for clients who generate more than 10% of earnings from thermal coal by 2030.

 “Over the past 18 months, we have made a series of commitments which are all geared towards supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the transition to a cleaner, greener, fairer economy,”added McDermott.

It is estimated that emerging markets need an annual USD2.5 trillion investment to meet the SDG targets by 2030.

The financing gap in Arab countries has been estimated to be over USD 100 billion annually [1], whilst in Africa this figure stands between USD 500 billion and USD 1.2 trillion.

A bulk of this investment according to Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO for Standard Chartered, Africa and the Middle East, will need to be focused on Africa and the Middle East, which is home to some of the key sustainable development opportunities.

“For the goals to be met by 2030, investors and banks need to coordinate and connect capital to promote sustainable development,” Kaushal noted.

Standard Chartered has a broad range of sustainable finance product offerings that can be deployed to help clients pivot their business towards a more sustainable model.

In October 2018, it created the Sustainable Finance team and has since launched sustainable deposit products in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York.

The bank also has  a EUR500 million Sustainability Bond, the proceeds of which will be used to provide finance in areas aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals – including clean energy projects, smaller business lending and microfinance loans.

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