Fossil fuels

A new report released by Greenpeace Australia has revealed discrepancies in the big four banks’ climate lending policies ahead of annual general meetings. 

The report aimed to uncover which bank will fund AGL’s A$800 million proposed demerger Accel Energy (ASX:AXL). 

It stated that it is “reasonable to assume, and has been explicitly suggested by The AFR, that these banks have been approached once again for the A$800 million loan required for Accel Energy.” AGL has not publicly disclosed which banks may be involved. 

The banks, which all committed to the Paris Agreement and global net zero by 2050, all contributed to AGL’s recent $600 million loan.

The big four have loaned nearly three times as much to fossil fuels as they have to renewable energy from 2016 to 2020. The banks loaned $8.9 billion to the coal, oil and gas industry in 2020 alone, bringing the total emissions from fossil fuel projects enabled by these banks from 2016 – 2020 to a whopping 16.3 billion tonnes of CO2. That number is roughly one third of annual global greenhouse gas emissions – 33 times Australia’s annual domestic emissions. 

AGL has lost around 70 per cent of its market value and $12 billion in shareholder wealth since 2017 due to cheap renewable energy flooding the market. 

More than half (54 per cent) of AGL shareholders recently voted for Paris-aligned climate targets. 

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