Commonwealth Bank releases Climate Policy Position Statement

The Commonwealth Bank has released its first Climate Policy Position Statement within days of the launch in the Federal Court of a lawsuit by shareholders for failing to adequately disclose climate change risk and after announcing it will not fund the Adani Carmichael coal mine.

The bank's statement affirms its support for “a responsible global transition to a net zero emissions economy by 2050,” and commits to decreasing the emissions intensity of its business lending and reducing its own emissions.

Specific undertakings include:

  • Finance $15 billion of low carbon projects by 2025;

  • Source renewable energy for 25% of the bank's power needs by 2020;

  • Reduce emissions per full time employee to 2.0tCO2-e by 2020;

  • Use high environmental, social and governance standards as a threshold across all lending decisions;

  • Complete a scenario analysis by the end of 2018.

The bank claims its achievements under its Group Environment Policy, which was updated in 2015, include:

  • Reducing its emissions by 49% since 2009

  • Issuing the largest Australian dollar climate bond by an Australian bank, worth $650 million

  • Growing lending to renewable energy projects to $2.8 billion as of 30 June 2017

  • Rolling out solar panels across branches.

The Commonwealth Bank's climate policy statement is available here.

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