A ‘net zero emissions’ test for loans will be unveiled today by the ANZ Bank according to reports in The Saturday Paper.
In another blow to the fossil fuel obsessed government of Australia they have also ‘set a 2030 exit date for all “direct” investment in thermal coal mines and power stations,’ states The Saturday Paper report. This will also exclude directly funding expansions of thermal coal mines and power stations according to their investor discussion pack.
Still funding gas
They will also not be taking on any new business customers that have more than a ten per cent of their total revenue from thermal coal. However, while their focus will be on lending to renewables they have kept direct lending to natural gas projects despite the significant role it has in driving climate heating.
According to the report the ANZ is the last of Australia’s big four banks to set a date for exiting direct thermal coal investments, although it will continue to support metallurgical coal used for steel production. The bank will also adopt low-carbon deadlines for the agriculture, food and beverage, building, energy and transport sectors in a 10-year plan, sparking a backlash from senior Nationals MPs.
ANZ Chief Executive Officer Shayne Elliott has responded to the backlash stating that, ‘You may have also seen some media coverage today suggesting that as part of our updated carbon policy, we will be shifting support away from our farmers.
‘I want to assure you that this is absolutely not the case.
‘ANZ’s climate change statement is focused on the top 100 carbon emitters, and will have no impact on the bank’s farmgate lending practices.
‘We remain firmly committed to supporting Australia’s farmers and producers, now and into the future. This is about helping our major agribusiness customers run more energy and capital efficient operations, it’s not about family farms.
‘The measures announced today focus on supporting large Institutional customers across all sectors in their transition to a low carbon business.’