November 5, 2015

CommBank’s commitment to 2 degrees means fossil fuel investments must go

SYDNEY, 5th November 2015 — Australia welcomes the Commonwealth Bank’s commitment to keeping global warming to 2 degrees announced today.* emphasises that, if CommBank is serious about this statement, it must now come up with a measured plan to move its lending and investments away from fossil fuels.

“The science is clear, to keep dangerous climate change below 2 degrees, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground,” said CEO Blair Palese. “If CommBank is serious about doing that and truly committed to 2-degrees, it  must move its money out of fossil fuels.

“Thousands of Australians and Commonwealth Bank customers have been calling for CommBank to move away from fossil fuels. Today’s announcement is a sign that the Bank is listening, but it must do more,” Palese said. “Those thousands of Australians expect CommBank to make good on its 2-degree commitment by phasing out fossil fuels and backing a renewable-energy future.”

“The Commonwealth Bank is currently Australia’s second largest lender to coal and gas and the smallest lender to renewables of the big four banks.  Under the statement unveiled today, we hope to see the specifics of how the Bank will instigate a transition  from dirty to clean energy over the coming months across the whole of its business.”

“After clearly spending significant time and effort investigating its carbon exposure and developing a  framework for how to address climate change, Commbank is now leading Australia’s other three banks and is in a position to demonstrate how business can play a critical role in the transition to a low carbon future,” Palese said.

“Major financial institutions globally are already moving their money out of fossil fuels and saying no to coal ahead of the UN’s next climate talks in Paris.  We hope that CommBank will follow in the footsteps of its peers globally and overlook the coal-focused mentality of our federal politicians.”

The commitment to 2 degrees was accompanied by the latest reporting on the Bank’s financed emissions, a major step forward for Bank reporting in Australia.

*CommBank’s statement on 2 degrees can be found here and updated report on their emissions intensity of their lending portfolio here.

Contact: Krista Collard, 0424 712 034,