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KB chief stresses role of finance in net-zero transition

June 7, 2023 - 17:31 By Kim So-yeon
KB Financial Group Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo (KB Financial Group)

KB Financial Group said Wednesday that Chairman Yoon Jong-kyoo stressed the role of finance in achieving a net-zero transition at a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Advisory Board of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, or GFANZ, held in Singapore on Monday.

The GFANZ is an alliance of over 550 financial institutions from 50 countries. Established in April 2021, the coalition aims to promote a net-zero economy and tackle climate change.

Its Asian advisory committee was also set up in June last year considering the Asia-Pacific region is responsible for almost 50 percent of carbon emissions globally. At the time, Yoon, the KB chief, was named as a member of the committee.

Other members who attended Monday’s meeting included Mary L. Schapiro, former chairman of the US Securities and Exchange Commission who doubles as vice chair of GFANZ; Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and Um Woo-chong, Asia Development Bank’s managing director general.

During the meeting, the members reviewed activities and achievements made over the past year and shared model cases to outline the operational strategy for the region’s net-zero transition.

"In order for the Asia-Pacific region to make a rapid transition to a net-zero economy, effective communication and cooperation with various stakeholders such as regulators, industries, and non-governmental organizations are essential,” Yoon was quoted as saying during the meeting. “KB Financial Group also will ramp up efforts to achieve net-zero goals in the region.”

KB was the first Korean financial institution to declare “Coal Divestment” in order to lead the nation’s budding efforts for carbon neutral through its core financial business. Under its long-term strategy, called KB Net Zero S.T.A.R, it pledged to extend financial products related to environmental, social and governance issues to 50 trillion won ($38 billion), including 25 trillion won poured into eco-friendly areas such as renewable energy, by 2030.