Australia's climate change laggard


Australia's climate change laggard

$0 billion
loaned to dirty fossil fuels globally since 2016

Since committing to support the Paris Agreement in 2015, ANZ has loaned more than $10 billion to fossil fuels around the world. This includes $2.4 billion to the coal industry, more than any other Australian bank.

Worse still, our latest research found ANZ loaned $2.2 billion for projects that expand the scale of the fossil fuel industry, just when we need a rapid decline of fossil fuels to keep global warming to 1.5°C. These projects will enable the release of over 4 billion tonnes of CO2, equivalent to more than seven times Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions in calendar year 2019.

ANZ’s October 2020 climate policy update came after all its major competitors and, while it made positive steps, it barely caught up to the other banks and was in many ways a wasted opportunity.

The bank rewarded companies expanding the fossil fuel industry by giving the most climate-destructive coal companies another five years to formulate transition plans.

As if that isn’t bad enough, ANZ’s policies didn’t even touch oil and gas, leaving the door wide open for the bank to increase its overall lending to the sector, and to lend to new and expansionary oil and gas projects.

ANZ was the third of the major banks to announce it will exit thermal coal by 2030, following Commonwealth Bank and Westpac. It also pledged to immediately stop funding coal power stations and some new thermal coal mines (those with reserves of 35% thermal coal or more), including expansions.

Now we need to hold ANZ to account, telling it to stop funding companies and projects expanding the fossil fuel industry and reduce exposure to oil and gas in line with the Paris Agreement.

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Take action: tell ANZ that its Paris Agreement pledge means no more fossil fuels!

Use the form below to send your message to ANZ. If you aren't a customer or shareholder of ANZ, you can instead send a message to all four major banks here.

Has ANZ fulfilled its Paris Agreement commitments?

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. But as our scorecard shows, ANZ’s actions brazenly flout that pledge.

Since January 2016, ANZ has loaned over $1.9 billion to large companies whose business plans are consistent with the failure of the Paris Agreement, more than any other Australian bank. Over the same timeframe ANZ was also the biggest Australian lender to the coal industry, lending more than $2.4 billion. This includes a loan to New Hope Coal for construction of a new and highly controversial thermal coal mining project; New Acland Stage 3. As if that wasn’t bad enough, for every dollar ANZ loaned to renewable energy it loaned almost $5.50 to fossil fuels, far worse than any other Australian bank.

The 1.5°C warming limit has stark implications for the world’s energy system meaning we cannot accommodate any new or expanded fossil fuel projects, including supply (coal mines and oil & gas reserves) and power plants.

What does this mean for ANZ? An obvious start would be a policy excluding any new investments that expand the fossil fuel industry. Beyond this, the bank must commit to actively managing down its exposure to oil and gas in line with meeting the uppermost goals of the Paris Agreement.

Find out more about our big banks campaign.

Scorecard since Paris Agreement commitment:

  • total lending to fossil fuels
  • $0 million
  • lending to companies with business plans consistent with the failure of Paris Agreement
  • $0 million
  • Total lending to expansionary projects
  • $0 million
  • fossil fuel vs renewables lending ratio
  • $5.49 : $1

  • Total emissions enabled
    (tonnes CO2)
  • 4.1 billion

  • Plans to exit thermal coal by 2030, consistent with Paris Agreement?
  • Yes

  • Plans to phase out all fossil fuel exposure in line with the Paris Agreement?
  • No

  • Explicitly rules out funding new or expansionary fossil fuels?
  • No

  • Explicitly rules out funding companies whose business plans are consistent with the failure of the Paris Agreement?
  • No

How is ANZ expanding fossil fuels?

Despite its commitment to the Paris Agreement, ANZ continues to fund companies and projects hell-bent on expanding fossil fuels. Examples include:

  • Nov 2019: loaned US$174 million for the Refinery And Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Malaysia, capable of producing more than 200,000 barrels per day of liquid fossil fuel products including petrol, diesel, jet fuel and fuel oil. Market Forces estimates RAPID would enable the release of 583 million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, more than all of Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions in calendar year 2019.
  • Feb 2018 & Jul 2019: loaned $100 million to Fitzroy Australia Resources across two separate deals in Feb 2018 and Jul 2019, for its Carborough Downs coal mine in central Queensland. In June 2018, Fitzroy’s CEO Grant Polwarth told industry media “we have now mined in excess of 2 million tonnes of resource that was never previously contemplated while opening up the northern reserves and creating a 10 plus year future”.
  • Dec 2018: contributed to a $600 million loan to New Hope to develop the proposed New Acland Stage 3 coal mine in south-east Queensland, unlocking another 80.4 million tonnes of thermal coal. The project would extend the life of the established New Acland coal mine beyond 2030, when OECD countries like Australia need to exit thermal coal if we’re to align with the Paris Agreement’s climate goals.
  • 2016 & 2017: loaned US$440 million across three deals to finance one of Australia’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. Market Forces estimates that over its lifetime, Ichthys would enable the release of 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2, double Australia’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions.
Expansionary fossil fuel projects funded by ANZ since 1 Jan 2016

ANZ’s funding of expansionary fossil fuel projects since 1 Jan 2016

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Find out more about the extent and impacts of banks financing fossil fuels, compare the lending positions of different banks and learn more about how to switch to a bank that aligns to your values.

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Funding Climate Failure

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