ING's Bold Move: Redefining Green Steel Financing

ING
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Synopsis:

Dutch bank ING takes a groundbreaking step to cease dedicated financing for new unabated steel blast furnaces, extensions, and coking coal mines. Positioned as a leader in decarbonization, ING aims to align with 1.5°C goals. The move signals a potential turning point for greener steel production, as major banks like BNP Paribas and HSBC also distance themselves from metallurgical coal financing. NGOs applaud ING's commitment, emphasizing its impact on reducing the steel industry's substantial CO₂ emissions.

Article:

In a pivotal move towards sustainable steel production, Dutch bank ING has announced its decision to discontinue dedicated financing for new unabated steel blast furnaces, extensions, and new coking coal mines. This strategic step, outlined in the bank's latest energy policy, positions ING at the forefront of decarbonizing the steel sector, a major contributor to global CO₂ emissions.

Metallurgical coal, essential for steel production, has long been a challenge in the pursuit of environmentally friendly practices. ING's commitment extends beyond mere rhetoric, as it pledges to engage with clients involved in operating coking coal mines, urging them to align with the stringent 1.5°C goals.

NGOs and industry experts view ING's decision as a transformative move, with potential implications for the entire steelmaking landscape. The steel sector's notorious environmental impact, responsible for 11% of global CO₂ emissions, has prompted major international banks like BNP Paribas and HSBC to distance themselves from metallurgical coal financing.

Julia Hovenier, banks and steel campaigner at BankTrack, lauds ING's policy, declaring metallurgical coal's future as bleak. The shift in financing policies raises concerns for blast furnace operating steelmakers, as access to future finance and metallurgical coal supply becomes uncertain.

ING's energy policy reflects a broader commitment to support the decarbonization of the steel sector. Recognizing the challenges in eliminating coking coal from steel production, ING takes measures to lower its exposure to this high-carbon component.

Conclusion:

ING's decision to phase out financing for unabated steel blast furnaces and coking coal mines marks a significant milestone in the quest for greener steel production. The move positions ING as a trailblazer in aligning financial practices with climate goals. While applauding this bold step, NGOs urge ING to strengthen its stance further, emphasizing the need to end corporate finance for steel infrastructure dependent on metallurgical coal. The steel industry faces a transformative period, with the potential for cleaner technologies and financing practices to redefine its future.

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