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UBS joins lenders setting fossil fuel emissions-cutting goals -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – The UBS logo can be seen at Zurich (Switzerland), October 25, 2018. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi

ZURICH, (Reuters) – UBS aims reduce its funding of fossil fuel emissions more than two thirds by 2030. The largest bank in Switzerland said Friday that it joined lenders who have set targets for this year.

Over 100 banks pledge to net zero carbon emissions by 2020. They are being pressured to detail the short-term, deep cuts they will need to achieve this goal.

UBS announced plans Friday to reduce its financing for oil and gas emissions by 71% by 2030, from the baseline of 3.781 Million tonnes CO2 equivalent in 2020. This was a much larger cut than the ones announced by other competitors but based on a smaller loan book.

The bank stated that its objective was to decrease absolute emissions. It is not the flexible “carbon intensity” metrics of some competitors, which link emissions to oil/gas production.

Rival in Switzerland Credit Suisse (SIX: ) Thursday’s announcement by SIX stated that the company plans to decrease its exposure to “financed emissions” in oil, gas, and coal sectors by 49% between 2030 and 2020 from 37.1 million tonnes equivalent CO2 in 2020.

UBS doesn’t plan on including coal because it considers this a marginal market.

In February 2018, HSBC outlined its goals to lower the carbon emissions of loans to oil-and gas clients by 34% in this decade. Citigroup (NYSE: ) pledged in January to decrease its energy sector emissions by 29% for the same period.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE :), JPMorgan Bank (NYSE :), Natwest, and Standard Chartered have all set similar goals.

UBS said Friday that its fossil fuel lending volume fell to $0.7 million in 2021. Total exposure of the bank to carbon-related assets was $45.6 Billion, 9.9% of total customer lending.

UBS also wants to lower the emission intensity of its loans to power generator firms as well as residential and commercial real-estate lending. UBS stated that fossil fuels accounted for large amounts of emissions and were therefore priority areas.

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