LIVE ACTION: ANZ’s AGM shake up

Feature Story - 16 December, 2011
We’re currently at ANZ’s AGM with a new alliance of polar bears, community members and ANZ shareholders. Together we’re calling on the bank’s CEO, Mike Smith, to clearly rule out financing new coal power stations in Australia.

While the homeless polar bears and community members talk to people as they enter the AGM, shareholders are ruffling feathers from the inside by asking ANZ management uncomfortable questions. And they have good reason to. Last month, a resolution for today’s AGM supported by over 100 ANZ shareholders was denied by ANZ without explanation. The shareholders were concerned about ANZ’s carbon-intensive investments, but their concerns were ignored. Meanwhile, Mike is asking shareholders to grant him a wee $3.15 million bonus for his efforts.

Where has ANZ come from?

Our activities today follow a sustained campaign calling on ANZ – the biggest financier of Australia’s coal industry – to rule out financing new coal power stations in Australia. ANZ this year lost it's top spot as winner of Dow jones sustainability index, which it held for a number of years.

Thousands of Australians have written to the bank and hundreds of people` have visited bank branches across the country asking ANZ to say ‘no’ to financing new coal power stations in Australia. Finally under pressure, ANZ announced it would review and publish a new energy policy. While the new policy referenced coal power stations for the first time, it was so vague it made ANZ appear greener without making any commitments.

Where can ANZ go?

The bank’s competitors such as HSBC and BNP Paribas have both announced detailed policies that show a clear recognition and management of the risk posed by financing carbon-intensive new coal power stations[1]. ANZ must step into the 21st century and rule out financing new coal power in Australia once and for all.

TAKE ACTION: Tell ANZ to clearly rule out financing new coal power stations in Australia



[1] HSBC Energy Sector Policy – extract

We will not provide financial services which directly support new CFPPs, including expansions, with individual units of 500MW or more and a carbon intensity exceeding:

850g CO2/kWh in developing countries;

550g CO2/kWh in developed countries. With existing technologies, this may require acceptable CCS (carbon capture and storage) plans or material benefits from combined heat and power or biomass. 

Full policy available from: http://www.hsbc.com/1/2/sus-risk

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