South Africa: A Fossil of Finance - Firstrand Says It Will No Longer Fund New Coal-Fired Power Stations


The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy may see new power plants fuelled by coal on the horizon, but finding the money will be no easy task. Banking group FirstRand Limited said this week it will no longer provide finance for new coal power plants.

Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe envisions an additional 1,500MW of new coal-fired power getting plugged into the national grid by 2030. As is often the case with ANC "planning", little thought is given to where the money will come from.

FirstRand is the latest bank to turn off the cash taps for coal.

"The group will no longer finance new coal-fired power stations and from 2026 will no longer provide direct project finance to new coal mines," it said in a SENS announcement.

This forms part of the group's strategy to reduce its carbon financing footprint and coal exposure as it strives to be "net zero by 2050 across operational and financed emissions".

The scientific link between coal-fired emissions and climate change has forced a major rethink among banks globally about the provision of finance for the fossil fuel against the backdrop of growing public and investor demands that companies clean up their environmental, social...

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