Westpac plans to back out of thermal coal mining by 2030 in a move to fulfil the bank’s zero emissions targets.
The decision was announced in an update to its climate change position statement, which focusses on transitioning to the required net zero emissions economy by 2050.
Existing thermal coal customers will continue to be supported by Westpac before the bank cuts ties with the thermal coal industry.
It has also pledged to not add any additional companies to its thermal coal portfolio.
Westpac aims to encourage its emissions-intensive customers to respond to climate change as they set out to “develop financing strategies that can support (company) response to climate change impacts, with a focus on our largest and most material customer relationships”.
This means the coal industry’s options to seek new project funding has been further narrowed.
To date, ANZ is the only major bank in Australia who has not announced an exit from coal funding.
Westpac stated its total committed exposure (TCE) to mining represents approximately 1 per cent of the group TCE as at March 31, with coal mining generating 0.06 per cent of the group TCE.
Westpac’s change of focus will see the bank lend companies $15 billion over the next 10 years to advance its plans to reduce carbon emissions.