Last week Ross McEwan, the CEO of NAB, fronted up to the Australian Parliament. When he was asked about the bank’s oil and gas policy review, he said they will be measuring their policy against the conclusions of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) ‘Net Zero by 2050’ scenario.
If Ross really means it, this could be huge: the IEA report states that there must be no new fossil fuel investments after 2021.
We often talk about the revolving door between the fossil fuel lobby and politics – but what about between coal, oil and gas corporations and the finance sector?
Corporations like to overwhelm us with their climate credentials in the form of policy documents and long-term targets – but often the gloss is hiding ongoing profit making from climate chaos.
Climate conflicts and the big four Australian banks
The big four banks in Australia have all made commitments to align their lending with the goal of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees – but according to Market Forces, they have provided more than $35 billion in funding to fossil fuels between 2016 and 2019.
You’ve probably heard the saying many times over, that “climate change is union business”. Climate change is union business for the impact it has on workers and our workplaces, and that workers will of course be on the frontline to the most devastating impacts – it won’t be the bosses.
If you need any reminder of why climate change is union business, you can check out my comrade (and boss!)
Integrity concerns with Empire Energy grants
In July 2021, the Morrison Government handed $21 million to oil and gas company Empire Energy to frack for gas in the Northern Territory’s Beetaloo Basin.
In late 2020, Energy Minister Angus Taylor visited Empire Energy’s fracking site in the Northern Territory. He wasn’t the Minister responsible for the issue so we decided to take a closer look at his connections to the company.