Standard Bank replies to "environment killer" accusations

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Durban – It would not be possible for developing countries, including South Africa, to immediately stop using coal-fired power generation, Standard Bank said on Thursday.

“Energy is critical and because of this it would not be possible for South Africa or any other developing country to immediately stop using coal-fired power generation,” the bank said in a statement.

It was responding to accusations it financed projects which harmed the environment. These included Eskom’s Kusile coal-powered station, activists said.

A group of environmental activists on Wednesday named Standard Bank and Nedbank as “climate killers” among African banks.

Responding to the accusation, Standard Bank sustainability director Karin Ireton said the company intended financing a more sustainable future.

It had made available R12-billion to lend to companies bidding for phase one of South Africa’s programme to build independent, renewable energy generating capability.

The company had installed a hybrid solar water heating system linked to two heat pumps, and solar panels, at its Johannesburg head office, and helped provide 75,000 solar water heaters to poor households in Durban and Port Elizabeth.

Last year the bank completed transactions using the clean development mechanism that resulted in emission reductions of over 20 million tons of CO2 equivalent. – Sapa

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