Want to win a sustainability award? Fund climate change.

24 January 2014

Last year it was ANZ being named “best in class” in the Dow Jones Sustainably Index’s banking sector. Then, overnight, Westpac claimed the title of the “world’s most sustainable firm” at the World Economic Forum in Davos. It’s hard to know where to look for answers to this paradoxical rewarding of companies that are so heavily involved in funding dirty coal, oil and gas that are driving the climate crisis . But while it doesn’t do much to help the credibility of those awarding these prizes, the winners are always quick to talk up their award.

Westpac was soaking up the glory when they were called out on twitter by Mark Doyle, who pointed out to Westpac’s Head of Sustainability the bank’s billion dollar plus lending to coal and gas exports since 2008. Check out the conversation that followed. While Westpac didn’t seem to have many answers as to their exposure to fossil fuels or whether they think its even ok to fund more fossil fuels in a climate crisis, Market Forces may have landed a gig assessing banks’ financed emissions! Feel free to weigh in to the conversation!