Australia’s Westpac vows to reduce lending to coal, oil companies

A pedestrian looks at his phone as he walks past a logo for Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp located outside a branch in central Sydney, Australia, November 5, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

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July 27 (Reuters) – Australia’s Westpac Banking Corp (WBC.AX) on Wednesday announced plans to reduce its lending to coal, oil and gas companies, and said it would entirely shift to renewable electricity for its own operations by 2025.

The country’s third-largest lender by market value said it was targeting zero lending to companies with more than 5% of their revenue coming directly from thermal coal mining by 2030.

As part of its net-zero plan, Westpac said it has joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA) convened by the United Nations. Peers National Australia Bank (NAB.AX) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA.AX) are already members of the NZBA. (https://nab.co/3cISwRc)(https://bit.ly/3owICoh)

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The NZBA is a coalition of nearly 100 banks representing almost half of the world’s banking assets. The members commit to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.

Westpac is planning a 23% reduction in scope 1, 2 and 3 absolute financed emissions by 2030 for companies involved in oil and gas exploration.

It is also targeting to reduce its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 85% by 2025 and 90% by 2030, while aiming to cut its scope 3 supply-chain emissions by 35% by 2030.

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Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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