Deutsche Bank immediately ends funding for oil sands and arctic oil projects

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

Deutsche Bank is ending financing for new oil and gas projects in the oil sands and the Arctic region effective immediately, becoming the latest major bank to reconsider lending money to fossil fuel projects in sensitive areas.

Deutsche Bank will no longer finance any new projects in the Arctic or the oil sands and will review all its existing business in the oil and gas industry, the bank said in a statement on Monday.   

Deutsche Bank unveiled an updated Fossil Fuels Policy to set new limits on financing business activities that involve oil, gas, or coal, and pledged to end its global business activities in coal mining by 2025 at the latest “in order to help drive the transformation to a sustainable economy.”

“In its current form, the Policy sets us ambitious targets and enables us to help our long-standing clients with their own transformation. It will allow us to play our part in protecting the climate and helping the EU to achieve its goal of being climate neutral by 2050,” CEO Christian Sewing, who also chairs Deutsche Bank’s Sustainability Council, said.

Last year, Deutsche Bank and 129 other banks – representing a third of the world’s banks, worth a total of US$47 trillion in assets, committed to align ing their business to the Paris Climate Agreement, in the biggest pledge to climate sustainability from the banking sector yet.

Many banks, especially in Europe, have faced in recent years increased public and activist pressure to stop funding fossil fuel projects. Some of them have said they would stop providing project-specific financing for coal-fired power plants or exploration and production of oil sands and oil in the Arctic. 

In the United States, Goldman Sachs said in December 2019 that it would decline to finance new Arctic oil exploration and production and new thermal coal mine development or strip mining. Wells Fargo and JPMorgan have also said they would stop financing new oil and gas projects in the Arctic.  

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