Commbank wants to hear from its customers. Tell the bank: net-zero by 2050 means no new fossil fuels!

Just weeks after Commbank was rebuked over its fossil fuel funding at its annual shareholder meeting,[1] its CEO Matt Comyn has invited customers to “ask questions and share your ideas on ways we can support you, businesses and the community”.

Customers can submit their questions online, which will be considered ahead of the bank’s ‘CEO Customer Forum’ to be held virtually on Tuesday 9 November 2021 from 6pm – 7pm AEDT.

If you’re a Commbank customer, consider registering for Commbank’s CEO Customer Forum and asking it to stop funding expansion of the community- and climate-wrecking fossil fuel industry. See below for further details.

We’ve provided a number of template questions below for your consideration. Remember to keep your question polite, personalised and to the point. The bank will be more likely to listen to customers who are respectful and clear in their ask. If you’re a customer, make sure to state this at the beginning of your question.

  • In light of Commbank’s commitment to the global goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and the IEA’s recent report concluding that achievement of this goal leaves no room for new fossil fuel supply projects, when will Commbank rule out funding companies pursuing expansion of the climate-wrecking fossil fuel industry such as Santos and Origin Energy?
  • Given CBA’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050, and the IEA’s recent report concluding that achieving this goal means no new fossil fuel supply projects, why did the bank recently water down a policy that should prevent it from funding new fossil fuel projects?
  • Given it has already been 6 years since the Paris Agreement was signed, why did Commonwealth Bank recently decide to give existing fossil fuel clients currently pursuing major new fossil fuel projects (such as Santos and Origin Energy) until at least 2025 to continue with business as usual?

If you’re a Commbank customer, you can submit a written question for the CEO Customer Forum by clicking the button below and selecting ‘Register for Customer Forum’ (this will bring you to a new page where you must click ‘Register now’).

Some other points your might want to make, or have up your sleeve if the bank replies to your comment:

  • Commonwealth Bank has committed to both the Paris Agreement and the global goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) recent ‘Net Zero by 2050’ makes clear that achieving this goal leaves no room for new coal, oil and gas projects. Yet Commbank continues to fund new fossil projects, and the companies pursuing them.
  • Between 2016 and 2020, Commbank loaned $2.4 billion to 9 major Australian companies undermining the Paris Agreement by pursuing projects that expand the fossil fuel industry, including AGL Energy, APA Group, Oil Search, Origin Energy and Santos.
  • Commbank recently walked back its standing climate policy, opening the door to funding a broader range of new and expanded fossil fuel projects without needing to demonstrate these projects align with the Paris Agreement.
  • The bank is also giving climate-destructive companies at least another 4 years to continue with business as usual, saying it “expects” existing fossil fuel clients such as Santos and Origin Energy to publish transition plans by 2025, but without stating the consequences of failing to do so.

Learn more about the points above by visiting our ‘Funding Climate Failure’ webpage and by reading our analysis of Commbank’s recently updated climate policy.