2022-05-04 Market Forces
Adam McGibbon, UK Campaign Lead Market Forces, +447709 204 187
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11.7% of Standard Chartered shareholders defied Standard Chartered management’s voting recommendation on climate change, voting for the Market Forces shareholder resolution committing the bank to align its financing with its commitment of net zero emissions by 2050.
The shareholder resolution coordinated by Market Forces and Friends Provident Foundation noted that Standard Chartered has committed to net zero by 2050 but that its current policies and financing are in breach of this goal. The resolution noted that the International Energy Agency (IEA)’s groundbreaking ‘Net Zero by 2050’ report said that a ‘net zero’ pathway means there can be no new investment in new coal mines, coal plants, or oil and gas fields, as of last year.
Market Forces research demonstrates that the bank’s current climate plans only apply to around half of the bank’s 2020 fossil fuel financing. Market Forces analysis also demonstrates in detail how Standard Chartered’s net zero rhetoric is not matched by the bank’s actions.
In recent years, the bank has:
- Provided almost US$ 40 billion in finance to fossil fuels between the signing of the Paris Agreement and the end of 2021,
- Recently financed companies and projects expanding the scale of the fossil fuel industry, such as Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas polluter, and a US$ 3.49 billion loan for the Scarborough-Pluto LNG project, which independent analysis has concluded “represents a bet against the world implementing the Paris Agreement”,
- Earned the title of UK bank with the highest financing for new coal plant developers in Asia ($4.7 billion, October 2018-20), and
- So far failed to join 15 other major global banks and rule out funding the disastrous East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline, which would be the longest heated oil pipeline in the world.
In addition, last week Market Forces released new research showing that from January – December 2021 a handful of Standard Chartered-funded expansionary fossil fuel projects will emit 2.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide over their lifetimes – five times the annual emissions of the entire United Kingdom.
In a huge lobbying effort, the Standard Chartered board recommended shareholders vote against the Market Forces resolution, instead urging votes in favour of a weak climate plan proposed by management, that leaves the bank’s own ‘net zero by 2050’ goal impossible to achieve, and will allow huge funding for fossil fuels to continue.
The bank’s climate plan also faced a significant rebellion, with nearly 17% (16.98%) of shareholders rejecting it, revealing significant shareholder discontent with the bank’s climate strategy. The management resolution will allow the bank to continue its pattern of heavy fossil fuel financing.
Adam McGibbon, UK Campaign Lead at Market Forces, said:
"Standard Chartered’s institutional investors have some serious questions to answer about their commitment to climate action. The bank’s climate policies have failed to prevent financing for some of the world’s biggest polluters, and shareholders are allowing themselves to be misled by the bank’s claims to ‘align’ with the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 scenario.
Today’s vote reveals significant concern about the bank’s climate plans - and management ignores this at its peril."