December 11, 2015

Westpac can’t finance fossil fuels if it’s serious about its new 2 degree commitment

SYDNEY, 11th December 2015 — As the UN climate talks draw to a close, yet another Big Australian Bank – Westpac – has committed itself to limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees. Westpac’s commitment means that all 4 of Australia’s major banks have now committed to the 2 degree target. Responding to the news, Australia’s CEO Blair Palese issued the following response:

“Whilst our Government sings fossil fuel’s praises in Paris, Banks like Westpac are signing themselves up targets that mean they have to move away from fossil fuels.

“We welcome this commitment, however the true test of whether Westpac and the other big banks are serious about tackling climate change is whether they actually get rid of their coal and gas investments.

“An honest commitment to 2 degrees means you simply can’t keep investing in fossil fuels and you most certainly can’t finance carbon bombs like the Galilee Basin coal mines. Yet, Westpac has loaned almost $6 billion to new coal and gas since 2008 and has refused to comment on whether it would finance the Galilee project.

“There’s nothing sustainable about fossil fuels. They are driving community and climate devastation, financially risky and reputationally explosive. If the “world’s most sustainable company” wants to live up to its name, it must urgently move away from these dirty investments.” concluded Palese.

Contact: Krista Collard, 0424 712 034,