Nedbank has indicated their intention to ‘Make Things Happen’ by committing to not provide project financing for new coal fired power stations in Africa. The bank’s 2017 Sustainability Report, in a commitment to a clean energy future, states that “the bank has undertaken not to provide project financing or other forms of asset-specific financing where the proceeds will be used to develop a new coal-fired power plant, regardless of country or technology”. Although a much-welcomed move to address climate risks amongst South African banks, this commitment falls short as the bank still intends to support Thabametsi and Khanyisa, two proposed South African coal-fired power plants.
Thabametsi and Khanyisa are part of the government’s Coal Based Independent Power Producer Programme (CBIPPP) and are being hotly contested by frontline communities and civil society groups like the Life After Coal campaign (LAC). The power plants are being opposed because of serious climate and environmental concerns. The proposed technologies for Thabametsi and Khanyisa will result in them being serious emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs), locking South Africa into a high emissions trajectory in conflict with the country’s commitments at the 2015 Paris climate negotiations.
South African banks and Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) like the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are being called upon to realise the climate and economic risks of investments in fossil fuels and to not only talk about their investments in clean energy technologies but end their investments in dirty energy. This is why 350Africa, in collaboration with LAC has launched the #ThumaMinaDBSA campaign targeting the DBSA. Referencing president Cyril Ramaphosa’s New Dawn speech, we’re calling on the development bank to “lend a hand” in the fight against climate change, and commit to not funding Thabametsi.
We’re extending this call to Nedbank, as its decision on no longer financing new coal risks being overshadowed by providing project finance towards Thabametsi and Khanyisa. We urge Nedbank to lead the way and make a clean break from coal power by pulling out of financing Khanyisa and Thabametsi.