Standard Chartered is one of the banks committing to net-zero by 2050. And recently they’re flexing their green credentials by laying out more strategy for how to reach that target – which will be put to a vote to shareholders at the bank’s 2022 AGM.

Standard Chartered is a huge investor in fossil fuels. They’ve pumped $24.02 billion into coal, oil and gas. Plus, they’re the biggest UK financier of coal plants in Asia – including Adaro Energy, an Indonesian coal company with plans aligned with 5-6 degrees of warming.

Here’s the problem. Standard Chartered’s new policy doesn’t get anywhere near challenging its dirty investments:

  • According to their updated policy, they can keep investing in fossil fuel companies, and even continue funding new projects.
  • Their updated coal policy is only cutting one way that they give money to coal companies, there are plenty of others that they’re continuing to use.
  • The bank isn’t introducing any financing restrictions or decarbonisation requirements for companies that are expanding their oil and gas production.
  • They’re even writing in a loophole that lets them keep investing in the world’s worst emitting company, Saudi Aramco.

Earlier this year Standard Chartered faced a shareholder revolt demanding better action on climate. It’s clear that this policy will not satisfy the shareholders at all. Standard Chartered’s CEO even said that stopping fossil fuel investment “wasn’t practical” – a stunning claim given the escalating climate crisis.

This is clear and simple greenwashing. Their policies don’t go nearly far enough. Fossil fuel investment needs to stop right now, and Standard Chartered’s policy does the opposite, it allows them to continue funding their huge projects, and explore new ones.