4 July 2023


The Commonwealth Bank’s review of its Environment and Social Framework, due next month, gives the bank an opportunity to set new policies to end financing of fossil fuel expansion.

The Finance Sector Union has joined with Market Forces to urge the CBA to take action to protect the planet by ruling out finance for all new or expanded fossil fuel projects and the companies developing them.

Finance Sector Union National Secretary Julia Angrisano said the CBA had responded to public pressure and reduced its lending for fossil fuels over recent years but needed to go further.

“Our members working at the CBA are concerned about the impact of climate change and want the bank to stop financing new and expanded fossil fuel projects, commit not to regress in the future and set a benchmark for other major banks to meet,” Ms Angrisano said.

The Finance Sector Union has joined others concerned about the CBA’s financing of projects that contribute to global warming by endorsing support for a full-page joint statement in the Australian Financial Review urging the bank to show leadership and update its climate policy.

“CBA workers want real action to stop the bank funding destructive activities because they care about the future of our planet and expect their employer to show leadership.”

“FSU members expect the bank to close loopholes and solidify its policies. They want a firm commitment that the CBA will no longer lend to new and expanded fossil fuel projects or companies developing them.”

“The CBA was once the largest lender to fossil fuels but now has the least level of lending of all four major banks.

“That shows public pressure is working.”

“Union members at the bank expect their employer to live out its stated values of ‘care, courage and commitment,’ and to practice what they preach by ceasing to finance fossil fuel expansion.”

The CBA’s current policy settings still allow the funding of many new and expanded projects and companies with significant fossil fuel expansion plans. This directly contravenes the bank’s commitment to the Paris climate goals, net zero emissions by 2050 and the Net-Zero Banking Alliance.

“Our members care about the future of the planet and the FSU believes the global climate emergency demands that the CBA takes urgent action to reform its lending policies.”

Media contact John Hill 0412 197 079

Authorised by Julia Angrisano, National Secretary