News Digest Item
01 Feb 2017

Deutsche Bank revises coal investment guidelines

Deutsche Bank / urgewald

Deutsche Bank will no longer grant new financing for thermal coal mining or new coal-fired power plants, Germany’s largest bank said in a press release. The bank will also “reduce its existing exposure to the thermal coal mining sector,” it said. Deutsche Bank cited its commitment to the Paris Agreement’s climate protection measures as the reason for its divestment decision. In a letter to Oliver Krischer, vice-chairman of the Greens in the German parliament, the bank said it was taking part in efforts to “achieve the paradigm shift towards a low-carbon economy and a climate-friendly development model.” It will strengthen its support for renewable energy projects and reduce its stake in the coal sector by 20 percent over the next three years. Krischer welcomed the move but said it could be “only the beginning” of a larger divestment process.

Heffa Schücking, director of German campaign organisation urgewald, said the bank’s announcement was a “long overdue decision” that only addressed “a small part of the problem.” She explained that direct project financing accounted for only 2 percent of banks’ financial flows to the global coal industry. “98 percent of the problem remains as the new guideline does not stop Deutsche Bank from providing corporate loans and investment banking services to companies with aggressive new build plans for coal-fired infrastructure,” Schüking said.

Read the bank’s press release in English here and urgewald’s press release in English here.

For background, see the CLEW factsheet When will Germany finally ditch coal?

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