Singapore’s OCBC Bank is the first banking giant in Southeast Asia to rule out financing new coal-fired power plants.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Wednesday, the bank’s chief executive Samuel Tsien said the company would no longer fund new coal-fired power plants in any country.
“We hope that by doing this, we are encouraging the governments to do facilitating, arrangements for the countries to move from coal to renewable [energy],” said Tsien.
OCBC is currently involved in funding two coal power plants in Vietnam, but these projects will be the last that the bank will finance due to contract obligations, Tsien said.
Two days after the news of OCBC’s decision broke, rival DBS announced that it would also stop funding new coal power.
In a statement released on Thursday, DBS said that after taking into consideration reports such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study released in November, a stark warning of the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it would “cease financing new coal-fired power plant in any market regardless of the efficiency of technologies used, after honouring our existing commitments.”
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