Japan's farm lender to invest $90bn for ESG projects

Out-Law News | 23 Jun 2021 | 2:38 am |

Japan’s agricultural lender Norinchukin Bank will invest 10 trillion yen ($91.8 billion) in projects promoting environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) goals in the next 10 years.

Norinchukin will seek to meet financing and investment targets to reduce greenhouse gases by 50% by 2030 compared with 2013, according to its financial summary for 2020.

It said the balance of ESG-related loans and investments totalled ¥2.4 trillion yen ($21.9bn) at the end of fiscal 2020. The funds will be used for bonds specifically for environmental purposes and project financing for renewable energy development, according to Nikkei.

Infrastructure expert I-Ching Tseng of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “Transitioning to carbon neutral societies require the joint effort of the society, both public and private.  It is encouraging to see increasing supports from financial services organisations of one of the world’s largest economies in ESG projects, both domestically and internationally.”

Other large Japanese banks have plans to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero by 2050. In January, Nikkei reported that Japan’s three banking groups including Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group would channel hundreds of millions of dollars of fresh capital into overseas infrastructure projects through new investment funds.

Japan’s prime minister Yoshihide Suga in 2020 set Japan’s aim to become carbon-neutral by 2050 and put it on the same timeline within the European Union (EU).