ANZ Implements Lending Net Zero Emissions Test
(28 October 2020 - Australia) ANZ is putting in place an ¬ambitious net zero emissions climate change loan condition.
The Big Four lender will impose low-carbon deadlines for the agriculture, food and beverage, building, energy and transport sectors as it intensifies support for the Paris Agreement goal of net zero emissions by 2050. ANZ said it would ‘move away from working with customers that don’t have clear and public transition plans’. The bank’s explicit commitment to climate change and the ¬release of target dates is considered a strategic move to match its competitors NAB and Westpac and respond to demands from key investors and shareholders. Major companies including BHP, Qantas, NAB, Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank, as well as the Minerals Council of Australia, APPEA, the National Farmers Federation and the Business Council of Australia, have all released major climate change strategies recently.
ANZ plans to allocate A$50 billion by 2025 to support sustainable solutions to help our customer’s lower carbon emissions. The group is targeting specific sustainable finance investments such as green buildings, low-emissions transport, reforestation, renewable ¬energy and battery storage, carbon capture and storage, hydrogen technology, disaster resilience and climate change adaptation ¬measures.
“By 2030, we expect to have a deeper understanding of all our customers’ transition plans, and the implementation of those plans will be well advanced. Over time, we will move away from working with customers that don’t have clear and public transition plans. We understand the impact, positive and negative, our ¬financing has on climate change. ANZ intends to act in a manner that supports new economic ¬opportunities and helps people and communities thrive. We are keen to ensure that the risk of any shocks are minimised and that communities are not left behind” ANZ said.
According to a new report from Deloitte Access Economics, the Australian economy will lose A$3.4 trillion over the next 50 years if climate change is not addressed, leading to a contraction in the Australian economy of more than six percent.
“Yes, there’ll be costs. And there’ll be some losers. But we’ll all be losers if we fail to act” stated Deloitte Access Economics Partner Pradeep Philip.
The decision by ANZ to tie funding with climate change ¬action and shift from customers with exposure to thermal coal sparked a backlash from the government and farming representatives.
“The ANZ climate change plan will have a significant impact on farmers and the food and beverage sector. Banks treated farmers like dirt during the drought and now they want to force higher costs on struggling farmers just so a bank can signal their virtue. These bank policies seem to force farmers to try and control the weather, not just worry about it. Why should the federal government guarantee deposits in banks that seem focused on wokeness over profits?” Queensland Nationals senator Matt Canavan said.
“Feeding people is in itself a moral value and that should not be oversighted. If the ANZ really knows its oats, it will recognise that agriculture can make an unbelievable contribution and the clever thing to do would be to work with agriculture and not attack it. Beware unintelligent, bull-headed, ideological responses which result simply in making Australia cleaner but poorer and other countries richer but dirtier” said Former Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson.