Market Forces have called out ANZ’s updated climate policy, stating it fails to prevent the bank from funding new oil and gas projects and the companies pursuing them.
The Friends of the Earth-affiliated environmental advocacy group said ANZ’s decision was despite the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) conclusion that there was no room for new fossil fuel supply projects if the world wanted to achieve net-zero by 2050.
Market Forces campaigner, Jack Bertolus, said: “ANZ’s new policy allows the bank to continue funding expansion of the fossil fuel industry.
“For instance, despite the changes, ANZ is free to continue pouring billions into new fossil gas developments.
“Failure to rule out lending to new fossil fuel projects and the companies pursuing them demonstrates the policy is not up to scratch. Today’s update is nothing more than a shuffling of the chairs on the Titanic.”
ANZ’s announcement came after Market Forces analysis found that since 2016 the bank had loaned $2.7 billion to ASX 300 companies pursuing new coal, oil and gas developments, including New Hope Coal, Santos and Woodside.
In October, Market Forces lodged a resolution with banks including ANZ, calling for an end to the billions of dollars of finance which were going to fossil fuel companies and projects. The resolution would be voted on at ANZ’s annual general meeting on 16 December.
“This was an opportunity for ANZ to avoid a shareholder resolution by aligning its climate policies with its commitment to net-zero by 2050,” Bertolus said.
“Instead, it chose to thumb its nose at the climate.”
One of ANZ’s new commitments was to reduce emissions intensity of global power generation portfolio from 260 kilograms of carbon dioxide per Megawatt hour to in 2020 to 129kg CO2/MWh in 2030.
Market Forces analysis stated: “ANZ’s failure to clarify the intended size (dollar value exposure) of its power portfolio moving forward means that, despite the IEA’s finding that achieving net zero by 2050 requires net zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2035 for advanced economies, and by 2040 globally, ANZ can continue unrestricted lending to new and existing gas-fired power plants”.