February 10, 2021 Read More →

ANZ Bank pulls funding from Port of Newcastle, world’s largest coal export terminal

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

The ANZ bank has pulled out of funding the Port of Newcastle in what is being interpreted as a significant rebuke of the coal industry and its exposure to climate risk.

The port is the largest thermal coal terminal in the world, last year exporting 160 million tonnes and accounting for 99.2 per cent of its exports by volume.

ANZ was previously a major lender to the port as part of its $950 million debt pile, but in November the port refinanced and ANZ took the opportunity to divest. It is understood the bank deemed the port too risky an investment which could end up a stranded asset in a world that is quickly shifting away from coal. Last year the bank also announced an ambitious net-zero emissions action plan, which adopted the issue of climate change as a condition of lending.

Analyst from the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, Tim Buckley, said ANZ’s decision was not surprising and in the best interest of its shareholders. “It will absolutely end up a stranded asset if the world is able to deliver on the Paris Climate agreement, and my conviction that the world will deliver on the Paris agreement has never been stronger,” Mr Buckley said.

“The world is moving 100 miles an hour to address this critical global issue of climate risk and ANZ is understandably working with all of its customers to transition.”

[Ben Millington]

More: Climate risk sees ANZ divest from Port of Newcastle, the largest thermal coal terminal in the world

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