Deutsche Bank calls an immediate halt to future Arctic oil and gas investments

It also said it would end its coal-related business globally by 2025.

By Reuters - July 27, 2020
Employees of Deutsche Bank gather ahead of the bank’s annual shareholder meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, May 23, 2019. (Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters File Photo)

FRANKFURT — Deutsche Bank, in a revamp of its policies for fossil fuels, said on Monday that it would no longer finance new projects in the Arctic or oil sand projects effective immediately.

The German lender also said it would end its business activities worldwide related to coal mining by 2025 at the latest.

The new policies follow announcements earlier this year of new sustainability targets and the issuance of the bank’s first green bond.

In opting out of funding Arctic oil and gas, it joins a long list of major international and U.S. banks to take similar steps. That has frustrated some U.S. officials, including Alaska politicians and President Donald Trump’s energy secretary, Dan Brouillette, who likened the moves to racial discrimination.

Urgewald, a non-profit environmental and human rights organization, said that Deutsche Bank’s announcement was a welcome step forward but “still too little, too late.”

“Compared to international competitors the bank is still lagging behind on climate,” it said, pointing to BNP Paribas and Royal Bank of Scotland as front runners.

Deutsche Bank said that it would review all of its U.S. and European coal power activities by the end of this year with respect to clients’ diversification plans. It will begin a similar review in Asia in 2022.

Deutsche chief executive Christian Sewing said the new policy “sets us ambitious targets and enables us to help our long-standing clients with their own transformation.”

Reporting by Tom Sims.