Home > ANZ commits to exit thermal coal, but rewards climate-destructive companies

ANZ commits to exit thermal coal, but rewards climate-destructive companies

29 October 2020

29 October 2020

ANZ’s updated fossil fuel policy, released today, signalled an end to the bank’s involvement in thermal coal, but rewards the most climate-destructive companies and fails to move the needle on oil and gas.

In its latest policy update, the bank has said it will:

  • Reduce to zero its direct exposure to thermal coal mines and coal power stations by 2030, and
  • Stop funding any new coal power stations and thermal coal mines, or expansions.

TAKE ACTION! Contact ANZ using our form – acknowledge the bank’s steps on thermal coal, but tell it to rule out funding companies and projects expanding the fossil fuel industry.

The bank also made the following commitments:

  • ANZ will ‘engage’ with existing thermal coal customers (with >50% thermal coal exposure) to set specific, time bound and public diversification strategies by 2025.

These companies include those pursuing business plans that would result in the failure of the Paris Agreement. Yet, despite these companies having already failed to formulate transition plans in the 5 years since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed, ANZ is giving them another 5 years! Far from a punishment, this rewards the most climate-destructive companies in our economy.

  • ANZ will no longer bank new business customers with more than 10% revenue from thermal coal.

At the time the policy was announced, ANZ was unable to identify any companies that this policy would apply to.

Notably, ANZ’s policies don’t commit it to do anything about its lending to oil and gas. This is despite the bank lending to the likes of Santos, which is planning to expand the gas sector with its highly controversial Narrabri Gas Project. Unlike for thermal coal, ANZ also failed to set targets to reduce its exposure to oil and gas despite this exposure increasing in recent years:

Financial YearExposure at default (EAD)yoy change (%)
FY17$18.0 billion
FY18$18.4 billion+2%
FY19$19.9 billion+8%
ANZ’s exposure to oil & gas

Read our full analysis of the policy here.

Take action

Acknowledge ANZ’s steps on thermal coal, but tell it to align its other financing activities with the Paris Agreement.

NAB is now the only major Australian bank willing to finance thermal coal past 2030.