Credit Suisse aims to almost halve emissions financing from fossil fuels by 2030

FILE PHOTO: The Credit Suisse logo is seen in Zurich, Switzerland
FILE PHOTO: The Swiss bank Credit Suisse logo is seen at an office building in Zurich, Switzerland, February 21, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

March 11, 2022

(This March 10 story corrects the unit in paragraph 3 to 21.9 million tons (not 21.9 tons))

By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH (Reuters) – Credit Suisse on Thursday set new targets to nearly halve its exposure to financing emissions from oil, gas and coal between 2020 and 2030.

Switzerland’s second-biggest bank reduced its exposure to emissions it financed in the oil, gas and coal sectors by 41% between 2020 and 2021, preliminary estimates in its sustainability report showed on Thursday, when it released around 2, $6 billion owed to such customers.

The report is the first time the bank has detailed its commitment to financing emissions from the fossil fuel sector, which it estimates at 21.9 million tonnes of CO2eq in 2021.

Financed emissions are greenhouse gas emissions associated with a financial institution’s lending and investments.

Credit Suisse began adjusting its coal policy in late 2019 under pressure from environmental groups, and in 2020 stopped lending to companies that derive more than 25% of their revenue from thermal coal mining or coal power.

These restrictions were further tightened at the end of 2021 when it was decided to exclude all new customers who plan to generate more than 5% of revenues from coal activities or develop new coal projects.

But investors and climate activists have repeatedly urged the bank to do more, with investors managing $2.4 trillion this week urging Credit Suisse to take tougher climate action, including reducing its exposure to fossil-fuel assets .

The group, which includes Europe’s largest wealth manager Amundi and a host of Swiss pension funds, said it plans to submit a resolution to Credit Suisse’s annual general meeting on April 29.

In its sustainability report, released as the bank outlined a 2021 executive pay cut, Credit Suisse said it had reduced its potential exposure to coal mining companies by 39% to $640 million by the end of 2021, while also reducing its potential credit exposure to Oil and oil cuts gas companies by 25% to $9.8 billion from 2020.

The bank also said the 2021 figures remained preliminary estimates, calculated using year-end loan exposure combined with customer data on issuance and financial metrics from the previous year.

It expects to set more industry-specific targets by the end of 2022, it said.

(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi. Editing by Jane Merriman) Credit Suisse aims to almost halve emissions financing from fossil fuels by 2030


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