RCBC pledges to stop funding coal-fired power plants by 2031

RIZAL COMMERCIAL Banking Corp. (RCBC) committed to fully remove its exposure to coal Iffunding by 2031 and boost lending to renewable projects as they move towards sustainability.

“As part of RCBC’s commitment to the environment and the world we all live in, we are phasing out coal-Ifred power plants by 2031”, president and CEO of RCBC Officer Eugene S. Acevedo said in a statement.

RCBC’s coal exposure amortizes each year and will decrease until it zeros out in 2031.

“A call to be part of the net zero revolution has begun. Companies must redouble their efforts to reach net zero. There is still a lot to learn about sustainability Ifnance can help,” said Mr. Acevedo.

The bank said in December 2020 that it would stop financing new coal-fired power projects in the country. This followed the Department of Energy’s imposition of a nationwide coal moratorium.

RCBC is in the process of concluding financing agreements for renewable energy such as solar, hydroelectric and geothermal projects with a combined capacity of 1.6 gigawatts (GW). Those deals are expected to close within the next one to two years, said Elizabeth E. Coronel, group head of RCBC Corporate Banking.

The bank has financed 3.06 GW of renewable energy projects since 2012.

In February, the bank raised 14.756 billion pesos through its sustainability bond offering. Its proceeds will be used for purposes consistent with RCBC’s Sustainable Funding Framework.

In the same month, the bank launched Green Term Deposits where minimum investments start at P5,000. energy efficiency, sustainable water management and clean transport.

RCBC’s net income soared 41.1% to P7.083 billion in 2021, which was the highest in five years. This was supported by improved performance in its core businesses and lower loan loss provisions.

Shares of the Yuchengco-led lender closed unchanged at 20.50 pesos a piece on Wednesday. — Luz Wendy T. Noble

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