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UBS further tightens rules on coal financing

UBS Group AG said it will no longer provide project-level finance to new coal-fired power plants around the world, as it outlined tighter rules on funding such transactions.

Switzerland-based UBS noted it will only finance existing coal-fired operators — defined as being more than 30% reliant on coal — that have a transition strategy that supports the Paris climate agreement, or transactions that are related to renewable energy.

The bank also intends to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

UBS said its carbon-related assets amounted to $2.7 billion in 2018, down from $6.6 billion a year before. Climate-related sustainable investments totaled $87.5 billion, up from $74 billion in 2017.

Additionally, UBS disclosed that its total sustainable investment assets and core sustainable investment assets stood at $1.11 trillion and $313 billion, as of Dec. 31, 2018, respectively, representing 35.8% and 10.1% of the banking group's total invested assets.

UBS' core sustainable investment assets, including environment, social and governance integration, and sustainability strategies, in 2018 increased 72% on a yearly basis. The Swiss lender also directed $1.9 billion of client assets into sustainable development goal related impact investments, compared to its target of $5 billion by 2021-end.