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Shinhan chief, UK minister discuss climate efforts in financial sector

From left, British ambassador to Korea Colin Crooks, UK Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith, Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byeong and Shinhan’s Managing Director of Global Business Seo Seung-hyeon pose for a photo at the Korean bank‘s headquarters in central Seoul on Friday. (Shinhan Financial Group)
From left, British ambassador to Korea Colin Crooks, UK Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith, Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byeong and Shinhan’s Managing Director of Global Business Seo Seung-hyeon pose for a photo at the Korean bank‘s headquarters in central Seoul on Friday. (Shinhan Financial Group)
Shinhan Financial Group Chairman Cho Yong-byeong met with the UK Environment Minister Zac Goldsmith and British Ambassador to Korea Colin Crooks to discuss the role of the finance sector in combating climate change and biodiversity loss, the firm said Sunday.

In the meeting held Friday, Goldsmith was briefed on Shinhan’s Zero-Carbon Drive, which includes the banking group’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 46 percent in 2030 and 88 percent in 2040 in line with the landmark 2016 Paris Agreement.

Shinhan, one of the top banks here, also aims to cut carbon emissions in its investment portfolio by 38 percent and 69 percent within 10 and 20 years, respectively.

The UK minister, who attended the 15th World Forestry Congress hosted by the Korea Forest Service on Monday, called for active participation of the financial sector in supporting biodiversity conservation. Expansion of such financial support would lead to a faster recovery of our ecosystem and the planet’s health, he explained.

He added he was “deeply impressed” by Shinhan’s efforts to spread green finance and combat climate change, both living up to global standards, according to the firm.

In line with Goldsmith’s remarks, Crooks pointed to Shinhan’s move in April to float green bonds approved by the UK-based Climate Bond Initiative -- an organization that promotes investment in sustainable net-zero projects – and called for more local businesses to adopt the method.

Cho attended the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland -- representing Asian financial firms -- where Goldsmith championed global forest protection.

Shinhan Financial Group posted a net profit of 1.4 trillion won ($1.1 billion) for the first quarter, gaining 17.5 percent on-year, its regulatory filing showed. It jumped 199 percent on-quarter.

By Jung Min-kyung (mkjung@heraldcorp.com)
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