NAB today released a new oil and gas lending policy, which has been slammed by climate group 350.org Australia for leaving the door wide open for NAB to continue financing the expansion of the oil and gas industry to 2050.
According to 350.org Australia, the policy signals the bank could spend billions in the coming critical years expanding the oil and gas industry, particularly via LNG projects and infrastructure spending. According to the climate group, this would be completely inconsistent with NAB’s own stated commitment to limit warming to 1.5 degrees, and the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero by 2050 scenario.
NAB’s updated ESG policy rules out lending to greenfield gas projects in Australia but leaves a major loophole for projects needed for ‘national energy security’ reasons; rules out greenfield projects overseas; and new oil projects or customers with a predominant focus on oil extraction. However the policy flags continued financing for LNG projects and infrastructure, and up to USD 2.4 billion exposure to oil and gas from now until 2025 – a figure that is inconsistent with the bank’s commitment to the IEA Net Zero by 2050 scenario, which calls for no new oil and gas project financing.
According to 350 Australia’s CEO Lucy Manne, “Every dollar spent on expanding oil and gas financing is fuelling climate chaos – and in this policy NAB is leaving the door wide open to pour billions into fossil fuel expansion and infrastructure.
“It’s wildly inconsistent for NAB to claim it is aligning with the IEA’s Net Zero by 2050 scenario to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, while creating a policy that flags up to USD 2.4 billion for oil and gas projects to 2025.
“NAB can’t claim to be listening to climate science or the community while it supports projects like Woodside’s Pluto Train 2 to facilitate the Scarborough gas project.
“NAB’s policy on greenfield gas projects in Australia is intentionally clear as mud at this point – the bank must clarify whether or not this rules out huge polluting projects such as opening up the Beetaloo Basin and Narrabri gas fields.
“Customers, shareholders, and the community will continue to call for NAB and the big banks in Australia to live up to their climate commitments, and end fossil fuel financing for good.”
Lucy Manne is available for comment on 0417 387 516
The details of oil and gas lending policy are on page 43 of the Annual Financial Report.