ABN AMRO & the energy transition

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The world population is increasing. The middle class is growing rapidly, as is the global economy, forcing the demand for energy ever upward. At the same time, an urgently needed transition is taking place towards renewable energy. By financing these developments, ABN AMRO is playing a pivotal role in advancing the energy transition. The bank subscribes to the framework for the International Energy Agency’s ‘2 Degree Scenario’. The principal area where ABN AMRO can make an impact is in improving the sustainability of real estate. The bank is also seeking to substantially grow its renewable energy portfolio.

Major impact in real estate

The overwhelming majority of ABN AMRO’s total loan portfolio relates to commercial or private real estate. This is an important pillar in the energy transition: the built-up environment represents 25-30% of carbon emissions. Encouraging clients to improve the sustainability of their real estate, and providing the necessary support, can yield significant energy savings. It also makes it possible for clients to install renewable energy sources such as solar panels. This is where ABN AMRO can have the greatest impact on the energy transition. In August 2017 the bank announced its targets for improving real estate sustainability: “ABN AMRO’s aim is for its entire real estate portfolio to have an average energy label A by 2030; for its own premises – leased and owned – the bank has set itself the target of achieving the same by 2023.”

Rise of renewable energy production

The bank also finances energy production. Although fossil fuels make up approximately 3% of the loan portfolio, this is another area where the bank can help advance the energy transition. Financing the energy transition is one of ABN AMRO’s goals. In particular, it seeks to substantially grow its renewable energy portfolio, and financing windfarms and solar power stations, specifically offshore, is an area in which the bank possesses considerable expertise. The renewable energy portfolio surged by 33% in 2017, and this trend is set to continue during the years ahead. By 2020, the bank wants more than 20% of its energy portfolio to consist of renewable energy loans.

Strict policy for the energy sector

Nevertheless, we simply cannot produce the energy that we need without fossil fuels, and for the present they remain indispensable. Rather than excluding them, ABN AMRO has a strict policy​ (PDF 182 KB) in place, requiring energy companies and clients operating in the oil & gas industry to pursue responsible operations, reduce carbon emissions and transition towards sustainable energy. For example, we will not finance new coal-fired power stations or oil extraction from tar sands, and we raise the issue of the energy transition with companies operating in the oil & gas industry and with energy companies.

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