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Swiss Investment Bank Stops Funding for Offshore Arctic Projects

Credit: UBS
Credit: UBS

By The Maritime Executive 03-07-2020 06:50:32

Swiss investment bank UBS has committed to no longer providing finance for new offshore oil projects in the Arctic, greenfield thermal coal mines or greenfield oil sands projects. The bank's new standards also include enhanced due diligence for transactions related to LNG and ultra-deepwater drilling.

UBS reduced carbon-related assets on its balance sheet to $1.9 billion or 0.8 percent at the end of 2019, down more than 40 percent from the previous year .  

Underlining its extensive sustainability efforts, the firm in 2019 became a founding signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking, which incorporate both the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as of the IFC's Operating Principles for Impact Management. 

UBS has already directed $3.9 billion of client assets into impact investments related to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), making substantial headway on a 2017 goal to mobilize $5 billion by the end of 2021.

The firm has been awarded with the industry leadership position in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI), the most widely recognized sustainability rating, for the fifth time in a row.

The UBS announcement follows that of U.S. investment banking company JPMorgan Chase which announced last month it is expanding restrictions on financing for coal mining and coal-fired power and prohibiting project financing for new oil and gas development in the Arctic. Similar commitments have been made by a number of European banks and by Goldman Sachs, the first U.S. bank to announce such limits on fossil fuel funding.