NatWest pledges £100bn of Climate Financing

NatWest has announced a series of initiatives, leading with a target to provide £100bn of Climate and Sustainable Funding and Financing (CSFF) by the end of 2025. Part of this new CSFF target will help to support the investment needed to transition the UK to a net-zero economy and will help to support the bank’s customers including SMEs on their transition.

This marks an acceleration in NatWest’s support of UK decarbonisation and the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, in-line with the 10 point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. The report and its associated initiatives are intended to support the efforts to halve the bank’s financed emissions by 2030 and meet the net zero targets by 2050, in line with its commitments as a founding member of the Net Zero Banking Alliance.

A new report by NatWest, Springboard to Sustainable Recovery, also sets out the potential opportunity that exists for the UK economy from the transition to net-zero, finding that SMEs could create up to 130,000 new jobs, produce around 30,000 new businesses and result in an estimated £160bn opportunity for the UK economy.
While the report’s finding that less than 10 per cent of SMEs currently see climate action as a source of future growth, it found that SMEs have two distinct opportunities to create value from delivering climate action: driving business value by reducing their own emissions and unlocking growth through wider climate action. With the right support, the vast majority of SMEs could benefit financially from reducing their carbon footprint, and through supporting the UK’s transition by delivering activity like residential retrofitting, installing renewable power equipment, upgrades to the electricity grid and installing electric vehicle charge points.

Alison Rose, chief executive, NatWest Group said: “According to the Springboard to Sustainable Recovery report, SMEs play a critical role in the UK economy, contributing around 50 per cent of total UK turnover and around 60 per cent of employment. This report is the response to what our business customers are telling us they need in terms of practical support as they face a complex decision-making process.”

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