Shareholders desk resolutions with Australia’s banks to cease fossil gas financing

SYDNEY, Oct 7 (Reuters) – A gaggle of shareholders filed local weather change resolutions with three of Australia’s Massive 4 banks on Thursday, asking them to abide by their self-declared help for net-zero emissions by 2050 and cease financing fossil fuels.

The resolutions ask for a agency dedication from Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX), Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ.AX) and Nationwide Australia Financial institution (NAB.AX) to not fund any fossil gas initiatives, in step with calls by the Worldwide Power Company (IEA). learn extra

The resolutions, filed by a bunch of about 100 shareholders, come forward of the United Nations’ COP26 local weather talks in Glasgow, set to start on Oct. 31, and as Australia regulators step up their scrutiny of climate-related dangers and disclosures. learn extra

They’re unlikely, nevertheless, to be formally tabled for a vote on the banks’ annual basic conferences in December, partly due to restrictions underneath Australian company regulation.

However backing for most of these resolutions is commonly acknowledged at conferences and help for comparable proposals has risen in current instances.

Final 12 months, shareholder help for comparable resolutions tabled on the annual conferences of ANZ and NAB doubled to twenty-eight% and 26% respectively.

In one of many three matching resolutions, the shareholders say: “Regardless of committing to the local weather targets of the Paris Settlement … ANZ is aligning its funding practices and insurance policies with the failure of those targets, leading to our firm falling behind quickly evolving investor and regulator expectations, and the practices of different monetary establishments.”

Earlier this 12 months, a bunch of traders managing $4.2 trillion, referred to as on a number of the world’s greatest banks to toughen their local weather and biodiversity insurance policies or danger rebellions at their subsequent annual conferences. learn extra

In an announcement, ANZ stated its thermal coal mining publicity had diminished considerably, whereas lending to renewables had elevated. Exposures to grease and gasoline exploration and growth has remained comparatively flat.

The financial institution will replace its Local weather Change assertion with new local weather targets within the coming month, a spokesman stated.

Westpac stated it solely funds emissions-intensive sectors in step with ideas aligned with its local weather change motion plan, including that the financial institution wouldn’t “set up relationships with new thermal coal mining prospects”.

At end-March, mining accounted for about 0.75% of the financial institution’s whole loans and lending to grease and gasoline extraction represented 0.22%, the financial institution stated.

A Could report by the Worldwide Power Company stated there ought to be no extra new fossil gas initiatives after this 12 months for the world to achieve its goal of internet zero emissions by 2050. learn extra

Australia, the world’s greatest coal exporter and one of many world’s largest carbon emitters per capita, has not signed up for that focus on, and this week accepted its third coal mine extension prior to now month. learn extra

Reporting by Paulina Duran in Sydney; Modifying by Simon Cameron-Moore and Richard Pullin

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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