The Commonwealth Bank has made a statement distancing itself from coal financing, made ahead of Thursday’s annual general meeting expected to attract environmental protestors.
The statement said shareholders “should note that our coal funding is comparatively small and has been trending down for some time”.
“We expect that trend to continue over time as we help finance the transition to a low carbon economy.”
The news was welcomed by Greenpeace, which said it meant the bank had effectively ruled out financing new coal projects.
“Commonwealth Bank have today set a new standard for financial investment in Australia,” Greenpeace campaigner Jonathan Moylan said.
“By ruling out future investments in coal they have shown they are willing to literally put their money where their mouth is on fossil fuel investment.
“Westpac, ANZ, and National Australia Bank must immediately follow suit and show the rest of the world Australian financial institutions are serious about combating climate change and protecting coal affected communities.”
Mr Moylan said financial institutions across the world were “ turning their backs on coal”.
“But we cannot be complacent and ignore the very real damage every mine and every coal-fired power plant is doing to the environment, the communities that surround them, and the planet.”