The Royal Bank of Scotland is phasing out financing for tar sands/oil sands exploration and extraction, and limiting its funding for fossil projects in the Arctic and Antarctic.
The update to RBS’ environmental, social, and ethical risk policy prohibits support for “projects involving oil exploration and production operations in Arctic (including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) or Antarctic areas,” and for “projects involving the exploration and extraction of oil from oil sands,” S&P Global Market Intelligence reports, in a post republished by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
“Oil and gas will continue to play an important role in the overall global energy mix, but the exploration and production of oil and gas reserves can have adverse impacts on the environment and host communities, if not adequately managed,” RBS wrote. S&P lists Barclays PLC and National Australia Bank as institutions that have announced similar restrictions, with the Australian bank declaring in its 2018 sustainability report that “we will not finance oil/tar sands extraction projects, and oil and gas projects within or impacting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge area and any similar Antarctic Refuge.”
Earlier this month, the U.S. Sierra Club “said it had met with representatives from RBS to discuss how fossil fuel production posed a threat to people and wildlife in the Arctic Refuge region,” S&P writes.