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Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group to halt funding for coal plants

This marks the 18th global financial institution to exclude coal for funding in 2020.

Japan-based Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMBC) will no longer provide financial support for newly-planned coal-fired power plants starting 1 May, according to a press release.

This is part of a set of policies that will be introduced to SMBC group of companies regarding businesses noted to have a likely significant impact on the environment and society.

The group may however consider exceptions on coal-fired projects that are deemed to use environmentally friendly technologies, such as ultra-supercritical pressure and those which have been provided support before the policy is put in place.

According to a comment from Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), this would mark the 18th new or enhanced coal power exclusion policy announced by global financial institutions in 2020, accelerating on the 44 announcements in 2019 overall.

It will also put in place policies on financing hydroelectric power generation, where they will carefully check if appropriate mitigation measures against the impact on biodiversity and local communities caused by resettlement have been implemented.

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