Australian banks key contributor to fossil fuel industry, report reveals

Posted February 14th, 2019 by admin and filed in 杭州夜生活
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A report by Market Forces an affiliate of Friends of the Earth, shows Australia’s four largest banks have loaned a total of $36 billion to the fossil fuel industry over the past seven years.

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The ANZ Bank topped the list, followed by Commonwealth Bank, the National Australia Bank and Westpac.

Chief Campaigner for Market Forces, Julien Vincent said the role the big four banks played in the fossil fuel industry was crucial.

“If you’re trying to get a major fossil fuel project up off the ground in Australia the role of the big four banks is really like a lynch pin.”

The report showed around $135 billion in loans had been issued to the Australian fossil fuel industry since 2008, with the big four local banks making around a quarter of all debt finance for coal and oil and gas projects.

It looked at the role of 150 banks, credit unions and building societies and found that Japan, China, the United States, France and Britain were the main sources of debt finance for the fossil fuel industry.

Mr Vincent said the contribution of the four major banks had remained fairly consistent over the past seven years, with a slight decrease noted in the 2012-2013 period due to increased foreign investment in that period.

While Mr Vincent was supportive of initiatives by the major banks to loan funds to the renewable energy sector, he said that with for every dollar loaned to the renewable energy sector since 2008, the big four have loaned almost $6 to fossil fuels.

Mr Vincent said Market Forces wanted the banks play a larger role in the development of renewable energy government policy.

“The banks will talk at length about how much they love renewable and want to support renewables but we really need to see them going to bat for the industry and say lets put the policies in place that really drive the transition to a renewable energy economy.”

Mr Vincent said the release of the report comes as an international movement to abandon fossil fuel stocks grows, citing a move by Norway’s government pension fund to sell off many of its investments related to coal.

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