Standard Bank Group to Raise R300 Billion to Fund Green Projects

Even as it remains open to backing fossil fuels, Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s largest lender by assets, wants to raise as much as R300 billion ($20 billion) by 2026 to help fund renewable energy projects.

In accordance with the Paris Agreement, the Johannesburg-based lender vowed to attain net zero carbon emissions from its own operations by 2040 and from its portfolio of funded emissions by 2050, according to a statement released on Wednesday defining its climate targets.

“Africa has suffered extremely significant economic and human consequences for other areas over the past many centuries,” Standard Bank Chief Executive Officer Sim Tshabalala said in a statement. “To assist decrease environmental strain in far richer places, a total or immediate prohibition on additional transitional projects in Africa would be a cost too far.”

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After decades of assisting some of the world’s worst emitters of greenhouse gases, banks throughout the world are progressively altering their business strategies. Bankers and officials in Africa, on the other hand, want to assure funding for fossil resources like natural gas, which they argue is critical to the continent’s energy security.

Gas projects worth more than $50 billion are being considered in countries like Mozambique and Tanzania with businesses like TotalEnergies SE and Equinor ASA. Kenyan officials are considering switching the remaining fossil-fuel power facilities to utilize liquefied natural gas, despite the fact that the national electrical system is currently 90% renewable.

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Standard Bank has stated that it will support energy and mining projects under “certain narrowly specified parameters” in order to ensure a just transition for Africa.

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