August 14, 2017

Commbank climate policy “insubstantial, a disappointment”

SYDNEY – 14 August, 2017 — Australia criticised the Commonwealth Bank’s climate policy, released today, as disappointing, insubstantial and a missed opportunity for much needed climate change leadership in Australia.

“The Commonwealth Bank’s climate change policy is a complete disappointment — far less than the commitment of other banks,” said Blair Palese, CEO of Australia.

“The bank’s policy has no commitments to reducing or phasing out lending to or investing in coal or fossil fuels more generally at a time when Australia needs climate leadership from banks and investors. Overall, the Commbank policy is a failure on their part to show that leadership.”

After doing its level best to bury the bank’s decision not to fund Adani’s coal mine on Friday, the CBA has released its flimsy climate policy on the same day as it announced that its CEO, Ian Narev, will quit his role at the end of financial 2018.

“Ian Narev is stepping down leaving the bank in a disappointing position on so many fronts,” said Blair Palese, CEO of Australia. “This climate change policy shows not the slightest attempt by the bank to develop a credible policy on climate change that lives up to its commitment to keep the global climate below 2 degrees Celsius of warming. It puts Commbank well behind Australia’s leading banks.

More than 180 groups around Australia, representing thousands of people, under the umbrella of the Stop Adani movement have protested against Commonwealth Bank offices and branches over the last two years.
“This policy is only going to fuel the groundswell of anger against the bank that has built over the last three years,” said Palese.
“The Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund (NAIF), is the only entity currently considering a loan of taxpayer money to support rail construction for the Adani project.”
“At the moment, it is only our federal and Queensland governments that are willing to back this massive coal project with virtually no commercial investor willing to touch it.”

See the CBA climate policy here.

Media Enquiries
Lou Fraser 0438 993 068
For interview: Blair Palese | Australia CEO | 0414 659 511