According to climate activist organisation 350.org Australia, the involvement of all four of Australia’s major banks in a new $1 billion USD loan to Santos is deeply alarming. According to media reports, CommBank and ANZ were lead arrangers for the loan, with NAB and Westpac joining the syndicate.
350 Australia Campaigns Director Kelly Albion (they/them) said, “The big four banks have just funded Santos to continue to massively expand oil and gas production, showing they are committed to climate chaos, not climate action.”
According to 350.org Australia, the big four banks are clearly out of step with the International Energy Agency’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario, under which to be eligible for corporate finance and underwriting, companies need to implement transition plans ending the expansion of new fossil fuel reserves if not approved for development as of 2021. This scenario also requires financial institutions to end project finance for the development of new fossil fuel reserves not approved for development as of 2021.
“All of the big four banks have said they support the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees, and Santos’ plans are 100% incompatible with this goal. The climate crisis is hurting communities, worsening floods and bushfires, and it’s time for Westpac, NAB, CommBank and ANZ to stop funding coal, oil and gas companies. The community doesn’t want to see more greenwash, they want action.
“It’s extremely disappointing to see the big four banks fund Santos, one of Australia’s biggest polluters, a company that is fuelling the climate crisis while pocketing windfall profits. Santos is facing legal action over concerns it is engaging in greenwashing, and the company’s plans to open up huge new gas fields including the Barossa Gas Project, Beetaloo sub-basin and the Narrabri Gas Project – all opposed by Traditional Owners and the community.
“We urgently need the big four banks to rule out financing new oil and gas projects, and, critically, rule out funding companies like Santos that are pursuing new fossil fuel projects incompatible with global climate goals.”
Kelly Albion is available for comment on 0422 636 775