Banks called out by shareholders on fossil fuel funding

Shareholders of ANZ, NAB, and Westpac have lodged resolutions to end financing into the fossil fuel industry illustrating net zero commitments are meaningless without ending the expansion of the fossil fuel industry, according to Market Forces.

The advocacy group said the resolutions called for the banks to stop funding new fossil fuel projects and to reduce exposure to coal, oil, and gas sectors consistent with the global goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Market Forces said the country’s major banks had continued to undermine net zero commitments by lending billions to companies and projects expanding the fossil fuel industry.

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Market Forces Australian campaigns coordinator, Jack Bertolus, said: “Continued large scale lending to fossil fuels is not only exposing these banks and their shareholders to increasing levels of climate risk, it’s also undermining our chances of getting the climate crisis under control.

“These resolutions make crystal clear to ANZ, NAB and Westpac their commitments to net-zero by 2050 are meaningless without ruling out financing the expansion of the fossil fuel industry.”

The group pointed to Australian Ethical head of ethics research, Stuart Palmer, who said that banks “cannot credibly claim they are enabling the net zero by 2050 transition when they make loans to companies expanding the coal, oil or gas sectors”.

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