RBS parent NatWest, SSE and ScottishPower to sponsor COP26 in Glasgow

SSE, ScottishPower and National Grid, along with Royal Bank of Scotland parent company NatWest Group, have been unveiled as the first sponsors of UN climate talks in Glasgow next year.

Royal Bank of Scotland parent NatWest Group is among the big corporate names that have been unveiled as the first sponsors of UN climate talks in Glasgow next year. Picture: Ian Georgeson Photography
Royal Bank of Scotland parent NatWest Group is among the big corporate names that have been unveiled as the first sponsors of UN climate talks in Glasgow next year. Picture: Ian Georgeson Photography

The COP26 climate summit was due to have taken place this month in the city, but was postponed to next November due to the pandemic.

The government said all sponsors, who will help shoulder the costs of the talks, have committed to the “Science Based Targets” initiative to set ambitious goals to cut emissions and draw up credible action plans to achieve them.

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ScottishPower, SSE and National Grid are investing in low carbon technology and infrastructure such as renewables, while NatWest Group is the leading lender to the renewables sector and has policies to stop lending to coal, oil and gas exploration and fracking, officials said.

The energy companies have also confirmed they are developing plans for a £3 billion underwater “super highway” of high voltage subsea cables to transport renewable power from Scotland, such as wind, to other parts of the UK.

COP26 president and Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “I am delighted to announce our first sponsors for COP26, who have all shown ambitious climate leadership through setting net zero commitments and Science Based Targets.

“When it comes to climate action, we all have an important role to play. Only by continuing to come together can we build the zero carbon, climate resilient future that is essential for our people and our planet.”

Alison Rose, chief executive of NatWest Group, said: “NatWest Group is committed to being a leading UK bank helping to address the climate challenge.

“We will do this by driving material reductions in the climate impact of our financing activity and by making our own operations net zero carbon in 2020.

“But we want to do more than play our part. We want to lead on the collaboration and cooperation that is so critical to influencing the transition to a low carbon economy, which is why I am so proud that NatWest Group will be the COP26 banking sponsor.”

To help NatWest Group meet its climate ambitions, it appointed expert Lord Stern as an independent climate advisor in July.

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