MILAN, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Italy’s top bank UniCredit set a goal to cut its exposure to coal to zero by 2028 in a recent update of its policy for the sector and related activities, a document on the bank’s website showed.
Unicredit will not provide banking services for any coal-related projects, including those aimed at maintaining, improving and even cutting emissions at coal plants.
Clients with coal-related activities that account for no more than 25% of revenues can work with UniCredit as long as they have a credible plan for pulling out of the coal business by 2028, the document said.
Based on research by non-governmental organisation Reclaim Finance, which rates the coal policies of hundreds of financial institutions, the update makes UniCredit the first financial institution in Italy with a high-quality coal policy.
UniCredit ranks 16th globally after 15 French financial firms, Reclaim Finance said.
Banks across the world have come under pressure from investors, regulators and climate activists to ease the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
UniCredit announced in November 2016 it would halt all lending for thermal coal projects by 2023. (Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by Jan Harvey)
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