ABC’s climate lending targets under fire

At the ABC’s annual general meeting last year, a market forces resolution sought to prevent the bank from financing new fossil fuel projects. He received 14% support in proxy votes. The board opposed it, with ABC chair Catherine Livingstone saying the bank had a role to play in supporting fossil fuel customers in their transition.

On Wednesday, CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said he disagreed with Market Forces’ characterization of the new targets. He acknowledged that this would continue to be a topic of debate ahead of its next annual general meeting in October, as he spoke about the commitments made in the bank’s first standalone climate report.

“We have increased our ambition and reduced the temperature scenario we are working towards, which is 1.5 degrees. We joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance. There are a number of commitments that come with this, including sector-level targets and interim targets for 2030,” he said.

“For us it’s about being very clear about our ambition and very transparent about it and we look forward to the opportunity to continue to engage with a variety of stakeholders, and we will ultimately be guided by what is in the best interest of the country.

“We believe we are capable of doing this both by supporting socio-economic transition, and also decarbonization,” he said.

The bank also came under fire on Wednesday from environmental group Campaign manager Kelly Albion described the targets as “nothing more than smoke and mirrors”.


“As CommBank’s board reviews its oil and gas lending policy this year, we expect words to translate into deeds – more funding for new or developing fossil fuel projects and companies. expansion, and a complete elimination by 2030 of existing exposure,” she said. said.

The debate comes after Labor presented its climate legislation to parliament, pledging to cut emissions by 43% below 2005 levels by 2030. The government refused to bow to pressure from the Greens, who want funding blocked for all fossil fuel projects.

The ABC welcomed the 43% target in its report on Wednesday, saying it was “ambitious but achievable”. The bank also estimated that the transition to net-zero emissions will require between $2.5 and $3 trillion in investment by 2050.

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