StandChart Earmarks US$75bn Financing For SDGs Across Africa, Middle East

Standard Chartered, on Thursday, said it announced plans to support clients in their transition to a low carbon economy as part of its Sustainability Aspirations, which would see it offer financing of up to US$75bn over a 10 year period.
A breakdown of the plan will see the bank providing US$40bn of project financing services for infrastructure that promotes sustainable development by the end of 2024, and another US$35bn of also project financing services, as well as Mergers and Acquisition advisory and debt structuring services for renewables and clean tech projects (solar and wind).
According to a statement by the group, as part of the aspirations, StandChart says it intends to reduce emissions across its global properties spread across 60 countries, including many large emerging markets, by 2030.
The bank also hopes to achieve net-zero emissions by only sourcing energy from renewable sources and continuing to pursue energy efficiency measures across its 12 million square feet of property.
The statement quoted Tracey McDermott, Group Head, Corporate Affairs, Brand & Marketing, as noting that “over the past 18 months, we have made a series of commitments which are all geared towards supporting the Paris Agreement on climate change and the transition to a cleaner, greener, fairer economy. We know that the investment required cannot be provided by governments and NGOs alone, so it is critical that investors embrace the Sustainable Development Goals at pace and scale.
“Our unique footprint means we are well placed to help get finance to where it matters most. That is why, as well as ceasing support for clients who generate more than 10% of earnings from thermal coal by 2030, we also have a renewed target for financing and facilitating US$35bn of clean technology and renewables and US$40bn of sustainable infrastructure.”
For Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO for Standard Chartered, Africa and the Middle East, “it is estimated that emerging markets need an annual US$2.5tr investment to meet the SDG targets by 2030. A bulk of this investment will need to be focused on Africa and the Middle East, which is home to some of the key sustainable development opportunities. The financing gap in Arab countries has been estimated to be over US$100bn annually, whilst in Africa, this figure stands between US$500bn and US$1.2tr.
“For the goals to be met by 2030, investors and banks need to coordinate and connect capital to promote sustainable development,” he stressed further.
Continuing, Kaushal noted that given the unique footprint of StandChart in emerging and developing markets, “we can use our banking knowledge, people, and products to catalyse capital to where it matters most for SDG financing. Africa and the Middle East region is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, though we also face some of the world’s most pressing environmental and social issues. Our ability to solve for the issues here will have a tremendous impact on our 2030 ambition to meet global SDGs.”
Standard Chartered, the statement continued, has a broad range of sustainable finance product offerings that can be deployed to help clients pivot their business towards a more sustainable model.
In October 2018, the bank created the Sustainable Finance team and has since launched sustainable deposit products in London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and New York; plus, a EUR500m Sustainability Bond, the proceeds of which will be used to provide finance in areas aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals – including clean energy projects, smaller business lending, and microfinance loans.