European financial services leader Societe Generale announced today plans to accelerate its exit from coal-related business.

Societe Generale was among the earliest banks to reduce exposure to the coal sector beginning in 2016, and made  a commitment in 2019 to exit from the thermal coal sector completely by 2030 for companies with assets in the European Union or the OECD, and by 2040 for the rest of the world. As part of this effort, Societe Generale also encourages its clients to accelerate their own energy transition and reinforces its selection criteria for financing.

Today, the group expanded this commitment, stating that going forward, it will no longer offer products and services, with the exception of those exclusively dedicated to the energy transition, to the following companies:

  • Companies generating over 25% of their revenues in the thermal coal sector and which do not have a credible exit strategy from the coal sector;
  • Companies developing new mining, power plant or infrastructure projects related to thermal coal.

The group highlighted some of its achievements to date, including reaching milestones in coal mining exposure reduction ahead of target. In 2019, coal represented just 11.5% of the electric mix financed by the Group, compared to the initial objective of 19% at the end of 2020, and renewable energies increased to 51%.

Societe Generale stated that this new stage in its exit from the coal sector is part of the Group’s overall approach to defining a trajectory to align all activities in the most emissions-intensive sectors (oil, gas, transportation, etc.) with the scenarios for limiting global warming. In this context, Societe Generale is one of the 5 international banks that signed the Katowice Commitment. It is also a founding signatory of the Principles for Responsible Banking, alongside 170 other banks, and joined the Collective Commitment on Climate in September 2019, along with 37 other banks.

Societe Generale plans to publish more details outlining its new policy later this month.