ING to steer to net-zero climate

03 August 2021 ... min read Listen

ING has joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance in support of achieving a world with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

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Joining the Net-Zero Banking Alliance means we’ll now use our Terra approach to steer our loan book towards keeping the rise in global temperatures to a maximum of 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than well below 2 degrees Celsius.

We see this as an excellent opportunity to use our experience and knowledge as we help clients with advice and financing to facilitate their transition to a net-zero world. We’ve always believed in an inclusive approach to fighting climate change – working with our clients to support their transition. We intend to continue this inclusive approach as much as possible.

The pathway to net zero will bring many opportunities in financing new energy technology areas, such as hydrogen, carbon capture and energy storage. At the same time, we recognise the role that regulators and governments must play to support and facilitate the road to a net zero emission world wherever they can, and we call upon them to do so.

Over the next 12 months, we’ll work to determine what steps and intermediate goals are needed to get us on this more ambitious net-zero pathway.

Using our Terra approach

We’ve used our highly regarded Terra approach to analyse what steering towards the more ambitious and effective goal of net zero would mean for our portfolio:

  • For two of the nine Terra sectors, our ambition is in line with the pathway to achieve net zero by 2050. This is the case for our commercial real estate portfolio in the Netherlands and mortgages, where we aim for an energy-positive portfolio.
    • Our policy to reduce financing to coal power generation to close to zero by 2025 also aligns us with the net-zero pathway, although coal itself is not a Terra sector but reported under fossil fuels. It’s seen as a big contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The positions vary for our other seven Terra sectors. The gap between our current ambition and a net-zero ambition is limited for power generation and automotive; more substantial for shipping, aviation and upstream oil & gas; and difficult to assess for cement. For steel, ING is leading a working group with the ambition to define a pathway to net-zero steelmaking by 2050. The output will be incorporated into our Terra approach.
  • Expansion to other sectors has always been needed, so we expect to include other high-emitting sectors such as agriculture and aluminium in the future when scenarios become available.
  • No change is needed for our own operations. We’ve been carbon neutral since 2007, with help from carbon offsetting. We aim to continue lowering our greenhouse gas emissions across our buildings and business travel.

Besides the most important goal of contributing to achieving a net-zero world in 2050, joining the Net-Zero Banking Alliance will help us keep pace with our clients and build on the credibility of our own leadership in this area.

The Net-Zero Banking Alliance will:

  • reinforce, accelerate and support the implementation of decarbonisation strategies
  • provide an internationally coherent framework and guidelines to operate in, supported by peer learning from pioneering banks
  • recognise the vital role of banks in supporting the global transition of the real economy to net zero emissions.

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