November 16, 2017 thanks Commonwealth Bank for statement it will “trend down” on coal investment, calls for policy certainty

SYDNEY, 16 November 2017 — Climate group today thanked Australia’s biggest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, for taking a leadership step on the phase out of polluting coal investment after Chair Catherine Livingstone  said the bank would continue to “trend down” on coal.

“Today’s announcement by Commonwealth Bank Chair Catherine Livingstone is a big step for the bank that has struggled to lead on climate change,” said 350 CEO Blair Palese. “For four years we have worked with the bank, protested and worked with thousands of people around Australia to divest from the bank and demand leadership. Today we saw leadership and we say thank you!”

“The Commonwealth Bank has lagged behind in the Big Four Banks but today the bank made clear its intentions to move away from coal, promising to ‘evolve’ its climate policy and invest in the low carbon economy. We look forward to the bank solidifying a clear policy that will send a strong message that coal is no longer an option.”

“As the UN climate talks wrap up in Germany, today’s Commonwealth Bank statement is an important step not just for the bank but for Australia,” Palese said. “Our government has failed to lead on climate change so these steps by banks and companies like Medibank Private, that divested carbon intensive projects” are vitally important.”

Statement from Catherine Livingstone, Chair, Commonwealth Bank:

“Shareholders should note that our coal funding is comparatively small and has been trending down for some time. We expect that trend to continue over time as we help finance the transition to a low carbon economy,” she said. However, the bank’s updated climate policy will not be provided at today’s meeting; she said it “will be evolved when the outcome of the climate scenario analysis currently underway become available”.

Contact: Blair Palese, CEO, – 0414 659 511 –

For media assistance: Lou Fraser 0438 9930 68 –