The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has said it will no longer finance the 2.8 GW Sengwa coal powered plant in Zimbabwe. Chinese banks have previously cancelled the funding of coal powered plants, but, this has normally been done due to hurdles in the host Country. ICBC’s action is the first time that Chines bank has proactively pulled the plug due to their own policies.
ICBC has been signalling for a number of years that it will strengthen its sustainability policy, but this is the first time this strengthening has had a major impact on its investments. This change has occurred alongside a general shift in Chinese bank’s investments away from coal. This divestment will make it increasingly difficult for global coal powered plants to gain funding in the future, potentially signalling a change in which renewable energy investment takes a precedent over coal.