The National Bank of Abu Dhabi has announced a commitment to “lend, invest, and facilitate” a total of $10 billion in financing to environmentally sustainable activities.
According to an announcement made by the bank on Monday, the financing commitment, a first for a Gulf Council Country bank, is intended to support recent research presented in the National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s (NBAD) recent report, Financing the Future of Energy Report, which identified a funding gap of $48 trillion that is required over the next 20 years to meet global energy demand — which itself is likely to see renewable energy playing a crucial role.
“The world is heading towards a very significant funding gap for energy globally,” explained Alex Thursby, Group CEO of NBAD. “This is particularly true across the West-East Corridor, the rapidly growing super-region that stretches from Africa through the Middle East to Asia – and filling it is going to be a big task.
“As the leading bank in the Middle East, we want to make a real contribution to the region’s ability to rise to the energy challenge. We believe that even in the current climate of low oil prices, the transition towards more renewable sources in the energy mix will continue because the underlying drivers are long term and strong.
“It is for this reason that we have made this commitment of $10 billion today. Through our Sustainable Business team we hope to become a positive force in the banking sector in the region, accelerating the transition to a much needed new world of energy.”
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi established a dedicated Sustainable Business team back in August of 2015, headed up by Nathan Weatherstone, with the sole intention to “evaluate and create new financing products that will support the development of renewable energy and sustainable businesses.” This $10 billion financing commitment is “the first of these initiatives” and will see the Sustainable Business team begin an engagement program with key regulators, policy makers, and industry players, “to capture up to date market trends and promote continued partnership between the financial sector and environmentally sustainable businesses.”
“Our research has identified that there is approximately $640 billion of investment required for renewable energy projects across the West-East Corridor,” said Nathan Weatherstone, Head of Sustainable Business Banking at NBAD. “But sustainable business is wider than just renewables and includes activities like clean transportation, sustainable water, waste management and energy efficient real estate. The scale of the opportunity is significant and today we commit NBAD to an ambitious but much needed goal. Working with clients across a range of sectors, we will lend, invest and facilitate US$10 billion over 10 years for environmentally sustainable activities.”