"We are also announcing today that ANZ will report on carbon emissions from project finance lending to the power generation sector. This report is available on our website from today. It shows that the average emissions intensity of power generation financed by ANZ is 20% lower than the Australian average. "It also shows that outside Australia, the average emissions intensity of generation finance by ANZ is 17% below the grid average in those countries." "This new disclosure shows we are supporting the transition to a lower carbon economy. It also means you will be able to track our progress in reducing the emissions intensity of our power generation portfolio.This all sounds great, but for world leaders you really need to look at Dutch giant Rabobank, which, amid a range of sustainability initiatives, released an analysis of the carbon footprint of its loan book way back in 2008. The limited ANZ data (it only looks at project finance, not corporate lending) is also blurred by its commendable market-leading position in the Australian renewables sector. This is how it can simultaneously have the biggest Australian banking exposures to fossil fuel intensive industries while claiming to have a loan book with below average carbon intensity. As was evident during the three-and-a-half-hour AGM yesterday, ANZ’s name keeps cropping up when it comes to financing new and existing coal projects in Australia. ANZ is the largest local financier of Victoria’s Hazelwood generator, the dirtiest brown-coal fired power station in Australia. It was also the financier targeted by Jonathan Moylan’s fake press release in the campaign to stop Whitehaven Coal’s Maules Creek coal mine. The huge coal reserves of the Galilee Basin in Queensland and the associated Abbot Point coal terminal near the Great Barrier Reef have also attracted ANZ as a potential cornerstone financier of Indian conglomerate GVK. All of this must sit uncomfortably with a bank based in a Docklands headquarters celebrated for its sustainable design within the City of Melbourne, which keeps winning global awards for its suite of sustainability policies. And the issue is fast becoming mainstream. Heaven forbid, ANZ’s carbon situation was even the lead business story in The Australian today. *Stephen Mayne is a City of Melbourne councillor who represented the ACCR on a voluntary basis at yesterday’s ANZ AGM.
Mayne: shareholder resolutions bring big four banks to carbon disclosure table
The formation of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility represents the first serious grassroots attempt to improve shareholder democracy in Australia.