Resource firms and funders are increasingly transparent about carbon emissions
Shareholders, governments and, in fact, society at large are increasingly piling pressure on lenders to consider the climate crisis when funding new projects.
South Africa, along with 188 signatories, is a party to the Paris Agreement, which aims to foster a worldwide response to climate change through various measures, including making sure the flow of capital is consistent with climate resilience.
The Paris Agreement does make it more complicated and costly for the resources industry to operate.
“With the Paris Agreement, we all have to be responsible in the way we get the minerals and metals out of the ground,” says Shirley Webber, Coverage Head of Natural Resources Absa Group Limited. “It must be done responsibly.”
Cleaner energy is inevitable
Webber sees more transparency about carbon emissions in the financials of all the companies Absa deals with.
“Most oil and gas companies we deal with in Africa know they need to work towards a more renewable mix of energy,” says Webber.
“Clearly, companies will focus more on gas [than on oil], as it is a bit cleaner. Many oil and gas companies are looking at renewables such as wind and solar as well.”
Webber believes the gas finds in Mozambique is good news for the environment, as it’s cleaner than many of the fossil fuels still widely used in Africa for energy.
“There will be a mix of energy sources in Africa,” says Webber. “We can’t just do one type of funding. Because here in Africa there is water, there is coal, there’s wind and there’s solar. We’ll have to do it differently.”
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