Big banks must stop funding lobbying against climate policy

Big banks must stop funding lobbying against climate policy

MEDIA COMMENT

21 October 2019

Background The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) has filed ordinary shareholder resolutions with both Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) and the National Australia Bank (NAB), calling on each company to suspend membership of industry associations whose advocacy is inconsistent with the Paris Agreement.

In the last 12 months, Insurance Australia Group, Medibank and Unilever exited the BCA, in part due to serious concerns about its climate advocacy. QBE Insurance also exited the BCA last month.

Attributable to Dan Gocher, Director of Climate and Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR): 

“Both ANZ and NAB are members of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), whose record on climate policy advocacy is one of paying lip service to the Paris Agreement while doing everything it possibly can to block effective measures to reduce emissions.”

“ANZ, NAB and their shareholders have an interest in policy to rapidly reduce emissions across the Australian economy. The BCA’s advocacy has been strongly counter to that goal.

“In just the last 12 months, the BCA has supported the use of Kyoto carryover credits, which will weaken Australia’s 2030 target to approximately 15%; it has called for investment in new and existing coal-fired power stations; and, it widely criticised the ALP’s 45% emissions reduction target (by 2030) throughout the 2019 Federal election.”

“The BCA’s support for the use of Kyoto carryover credits alone will discount Australia’s 2030 target by ~370 million tonnes of carbon (equivalent). Despite all their efforts, neither ANZ or NAB could hope to reduce emissions by anywhere near that amount themselves”.

“The BCA has gotten away with laundering its climate wrecking with the brands of ‘climate aware’ organisations for too long. We are now starting to see companies with progressive climate positions cut ties with the BCA. The move towards attaching consequences to lobbying counter to the goals of the Paris Agreement is welcome, and we think it is in the banks’ interests to follow suit.

“All the good work being done by banks on climate is being undone by the advocacy of the BCA.”

 

CONTACT Dan Gocher, dan@accr.org.au, +61 410 550 337

LINKS TO RESOLUTIONS

https://accr.org.au/wp-content/uploads/ACCR-ANZ-resolution-and-supporting-statement-2019.pdf

https://accr.org.au/wp-content/uploads/ACCR-NAB-resolution-and-supporting-statement-2019.pdf

 


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