Westpac and coal

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The National Australia Bank is one of the largest funders of coal power stations and coal projects in Australia.

Westpac policy statements

Westpac participates in the following collective policies:

In addition to this, Westpac developed a number of individual sustainability policies. The bank’s Environmental Policy[4] states that applications for finance includes an assessment of the potential environmental risk along with other risks. Where appropriate, specific measures to manage environmental risk aspects may be required as a condition of lending. Westpac also developed a Climate change position statement in which it states that the bank works to reduce its direct environmental impact and identify emerging risks and opportunities. It also contributes to policy development and drives awareness about climate change in the community. This policy however does not state anything about the indirect environmental impact of Westpac’s businesses.

Westpac funding on coal projects

According to a 2010 report for Greenpeace, Westpac invested A$ 349.6 million in coal mines, A$ 454.0 million in coal-fired power plants, A$ 220.0 million in port expansion projects and A$ 290.5 million in renewable energy over the last five years in Australia. The following tables summarize the bank’s investments in the coal sector and the renewables sector respectively.[5] [6]

Investments of Westpac in the Australian coal sector
Sector Company Amount (A$ million) Coal amount (A$ million)
Mining AGL Energy 338 46.3
Mining Centennial Coal 205 205.0
Mining CLP Group 531 61.4
Mining International Power 20.5 20.5
Mining Noble Group 66 3.9
Mining Queensland government (Tarong Energy) 1,734 6.9
Mining Wesfarmers 125 5.6
Total mining 349.6
Ports Hay Point - BBI 220 220.0
Total ports 220.0
Coal fired power stations AGL Energy 338 25.4
Coal fired power stations Alinta Energy 225 37.6
Coal fired power stations CLP Group 531 51.4
Coal fired power stations International Power 20.5 20.5
Coal fired power stations NSW government 841.3 88.3
Coal fired power stations Queensland government 1,734 55.5
Coal fired power stations Griffin Group 51 51
Coal fired power stations Transfield Services/TSI Fund 512 124.3
Total Coal Fired Power Stations 454


Westpac renewables
Investments of Westpac in the Australian renewables sector
Company Amount (A$ million) Renewables amount (A$ million)
AGL Energy 338 114.9
Infigen 90 28.8
NSW government (Eraring) 841.3 2.5
Pacific Hydro 56 33.3
Queensland government (Tarong Energy) 1,734 3.5
Snowy Hydro 125 107.5
Total renewables 290.5

No to HRL

In May the Victorian Environment Protection Authority announced that they had given conditional approval for one of the two proposed 300MW coal gasification units for the Dual Gas power station in Victoria. However, all four major australian banks told The Age that they would not finance the project. Westpac spokeswoman Jane Counsel tole The age that "we will continue to consider financing coal projects in the future, but our focus is very much on supporting those projects that use cleaner and more efficient technologies and are making the transition to a carbon-constrained operating environment."[7]

Articles and resources

References

  1. "Carbon Disclosure Project", Westpac website, 2009 response.
  2. ”Equator Principles”, Westpac website, accessed April 2011.
  3. UNEP Finance Initiative, "Our Members: Westpac", UNEP Finance Initiative website, accessed April 2011.
  4. Westpac, "Westpac and the Environment: Our Environmental Policy", Westpac website, accessed April 2011.
  5. Profundo, "Australian banks financing coal and renewable energy", Greenpeace Australia, February 7, 2011.
  6. Greenpeace, "Pillars of Pollution: how Australia’s big four banks are propping up pollution", Greenpeace Australia, February 5, 2011.
  7. Royce Millar & Adam Morton, "Big banks 'no' to coal plant", The Age, May 21, 2011.

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External resources

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