Australia’s climate laggard

$18.6 billion

Loaned to dirty fossil fuels globally since 2016

Australia’s biggest fossil fuel lender since Paris

ANZ is Australia’s biggest funder of dirty fossil fuels, providing a total of $18.6 billion to the coal, oil and gas industries in the seven years since the Paris Agreement was signed.

There’s little sign of ANZ letting up, with the bank handing out $2.6 billion to fossil fuels in 2022 alone – virtually the same amount as back in 2016 ($2.7 billion).

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2023 AGM season

ANZ, NAB and Westpac continue to undermine their commitments to the Paris Agreement by financing companies that are expanding the fossil fuel industry.

Australia’s king of dirty coal and gas

The chart shown right shows ANZ’s year-on-year lending to different fossil fuel sectors since January 2016. The charts shown below include lending to expansion projects and lending to companies with fossil fuel expansion plans. 

We have included ANZ’s own reported exposures to fossil fuels as a further demonstration of the bank’s trends.

The chart shown right shows ANZ has loaned a total of $15.8 billion to fossil fuels since 2016, this includes:

The chart shown right shows ANZ has loaned $18.6 billion to fossil fuels since 2016, this includes: 

  • $3.6 billion to coal,
  • $5.7 billion to gas (exc. LNG)
  • $3.9 billion to LNG
  • $5.3 billion to oil

ANZ has forked out $3.6 billion to the coal industry since 2016, including $367 million in 2022 – comfortably taking the unenviable top spot for coal financing among Australia’s big four banks.

ANZ was Australia’s biggest lender to the gas industry in 2022, handing over $1.6 billion. ANZ took part in 11 loans to companies that have plans to expand the gas industry in 2022 including Woodside, Santos, China Gas and Medco Energi Internasional. 

Funding for new fossil fuel projects

In late 2015, ANZ publicly committed to taking action to support the Paris Agreement, which includes the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. The science is clear: if we are to meet that goal, there can be no further expansion of the coal, oil or gas sectors.

Yet ANZ loaned $3 billion for projects that expand the scale of the fossil fuel industry from 2016 to 2022. These projects will enable the release of over 5.3 billion tonnes of CO2, equivalent to almost eleven times Australia’s total 2021 greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 2016 ANZ has loaned $3 billion to new fossil fuel projects, including:

  • $144 million to new coal projects,
  • $1 billion to new gas projects (exc. LNG)
  • $1.4 billion to new LNG projects
  • $441 million to new oil projects

In total, these projects would result in 5.3 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent.

ANZ has also provided finance for two gas expansion projects in the last two years:

  • March 2021: Participated in a loan for an additional 600 MW gas-fired unit at the Black Point Power Station in China
  • March 2022: Loaned $290 million to Global Infrastructure Partners to acquire a 49% stake in the Pluto 2 LNG project. The deal enabled Woodside to push ahead with developing the Scarborough gas field. The gas from Scarborough when burnt will produce an estimated 637 million tonnes of CO2.

Funding for companies with expansion plans

ANZ provided a further $8.1 billion in finance to companies expanding coal, oil and gas industries over the same period, making it the biggest funder of fossil fuel expansion in Australia. This is comfortable the most of the big four Australian banks. 

In the last two years, ANZ also took part in the following corporate finance deals for companies expanding the coal, oil and gas industries: 

  • September 2021: Took part in a $600 million loan to Beach Energy, a company developing the Waitsia Gas Project Stage Two – one of the largest gas fields ever discovered onshore in Australia. Beach will export LNG from Waitsia Stage 2 to the global market. 
  • October 2021: Took part in a $565.5 million loan to United Tractors, a company involved in building two new coal-fired power plant units (1000 MW each) at the Tanjung Jati B Unit 5 and 6 in Central Java, Indonesia.
  • July 2022: Loaned $126 million directly to Woodside, in addition to the finance provided to Global Infrastructure Partners for the Scarborough gas field.
  • August 2022: Loaned $145 million to Santos, a company pursuing the deeply controversial Barossa gas field off the coast of the Tiwi Islands.

ANZ’s hypocrisy and policy shortfalls

ANZ’s exclusion of direct financing to new thermal coal mines and coal-fired power plants are undermined by not restricting corporate finance to the companies developing them.

ANZ is the only big four bank in Australia to not restrict project finance for new oil and gas fields, making it a clear laggard among its peers. Nor does ANZ restrict corporate finance to companies developing new oil and gas projects. 

ANZ has set a target to have zero exposure to thermal coal by 2030, and to reduce ‘financed emissions’ from its oil and gas sector lending by 26% by 2030. However, ANZ can meet these targets by simply ensuring some loans have been repaid by their target date (2030), meaning their financed emissions targets do nothing to stop lending to new fossil fuel projects and the companies building them today.

ANZ expects its fossil fuel sector customers to have transition plans in place by 2025, and has set out an ‘example’ transition pathway for its oil and gas sector customers to reduce emissions from sold products by 40% by 2030. But its clients like Santos and Woodside are heading in the opposite direction, and will increase their emissions by over 40% in that timeframe.

ANZ’s climate policy can be found here.

ANZ policy scorecard

New fossil fuels Project finance policy wdt_ID Corporate finance policy Lending examples 2021-2022 (companies and projects)
Coal mines X 80 Doesn't rule out companies building new or expanded coal mines Glencore
Coal power plants X 82 Doesn't rule out companies building new or expanded coal power plants United Tractors
Gas fields Doesn’t rule out new or expanded gas fields 84 Doesn’t rule out companies building or expanded new gas fields Santos
Beach Energy
Cooper Energy
Gas power plants Doesn't rule out new or expanded gas power plants 85 Doesn't rule out companies building new or expanded gas power plants Black Point Power Station Additional Gas-Fired Unit (600MW)
LNG projects Doesn’t rule out new or expanded LNG projects 86 Doesn’t rule out companies building new or expanded LNG projects Pluto 2 LNG Train
Oil fields Doesn’t rule out new or expanded oil fields 87 Doesn’t rule out companies building new or expanded oil fields Medco Energi Internasional

ANZ Climate Scorecard

since January 2016

Total lending to fossil fuels

$18,609 million

Lending to companies with expansion plans

$8,056 million

Lending to expansionary projects

$3,012 million

Total emissions enabled from expansionary projects
(tonnes CO2)

5.3 billion

The data in this section covers the timeframe 1 Jan 2016 – 31 Dec 2022


Market Forces report lending differently to the banks

Each of the big four banks report their fossil fuel exposures based on their lending portfolio to the industry. However, the banks use different reporting methodologies, with some reporting in more detail than others in terms of total exposures to the fossil fuel supply chain. 

Market Forces reports on the lending that banks participate in each year, including refinancing of existing deals. We consider each refinancing a conscious decision by a lender to continue supporting a company or project, and lending groups can and often do change upon refinancing and we want to capture this.

In addition, through refinancing existing loans for a new fixed term, a bank is making money available to a fossil fuel company that it otherwise would not have if the bank had decided to not refinance.

When banks report on exposure however, refinancing will not show up as ‘additional exposure’ unless the bank decides to commit more money, as that money is already on the bank’s books. Whilst this approach is legitimate, we believe it doesn’t capture the extent of support the banks provide to companies by refinancing, which is essentially to provide more money to fossil fuel companies for longer periods of time. 

ANZ's reported fossil fuel exposure

ANZ’s reported exposure includes: 

“Coal mining includes exposures to metallurgical (coking) coal used for steel making and thermal coal used for energy generation”

“Exposure to oil and gas includes all of the oil and gas value chain such as exploration, extraction, transport, refining and retail”


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