Responding to the news that OCBC and DBS have, within two days of each other, signalled an end point to financing new coal power stations, Market Forces Executive Director Julien Vincent said:
This week was a major game-changer for energy finance in the ASEAN region. The commitments by DBS and OCBC to stop financing new coal power stations are not only in line with what the science says is needed to avoid catastrophic climate change, but also sends a massive signal to the financial markets that coal is officially out of fashion.
Attention will now turn to other major energy lenders in the ASEAN region, such as the Japanese megabanks MUFG, SMBC and Mizuho, to see if they will update their own policies to rule out all new coal.
The only tarnish on the OCBC and DBS policies stems from the fact that they remain as part of syndicates to several proposed coal power plants: Van Phong 1 and Vung Ang 2 in Vietnam and, for DBS, the Java 9 and 10 coal power plant in Indonesia. All of these projects would bring us a step closer to catastrophic climate change and carry other social and environmental risks.
So, while we appreciate the major steps forward taken by OCBC and DBS on ending their lending to dirty coal power, we will continue to campaign so that no new dirty coal means exactly that.