At the CBA AGM the chair said there were two big issues - and climate change was one of them.
Environment groups and some investors have told the CBA for years that climate change is an issue. What made the difference this year is that there was a climate change resolution at the AGM sponsored by over 100 ACCR members and supporters calling for better disclosure of how much climate change CBA is financing. Because of this the bank has had to acknowledge the issue.
At the meeting CBA gave additional information about its project lending.
What CBA has not done is provide any information about what its wealth management area invests in. Our research identifies this as probably CBA’s highest exposure to climate change. And it has not yet committed to improved policies on climate change.
CBA told the AGM that its total lending to mining is 1.5 per cent of total lending. Of this:
o direct coal mining is less than 0.2 percent of total
o direct oil and gas extraction is less than 0.9 percent of total
This does not include infrastructure such as ports, railways etc that service the fossil fuel industry.
CBA committed to increased disclosure about its lending:
• 2015 half year reporting (February 2015): assessed carbon emissions arising from our project finance exposure to the energy sector;
• 2015 full year reporting (August 2015): assessed carbon emissions arising from our project finance and business lending exposure to the energy sector;
• 2016 half year reporting (February 2016): assessed carbon emissions arising from the business lending portfolio, with focus on larger entities.
Bishop George Browning (former Anglican Bishop of Canberra and Goulburn and former Chair of the International Anglican Communion Environmental Network) spoke on climate change and important role of banks when he moved our resolution at the AGM on 12 November 2014.
The CBA chair responded by agreeing to much of Bishop Browning speech so maybe it will improve its policies in the future. Our resolution got 3.16% of the vote which is enough to show that there is support and we will keep up the pressure.
This was motion at the CBA AGM on 12 November 2014
Special Resolution to amend the constitution: At the end of the Clause 9 ‘General Meetings’ insert the following new sub-clause: “That, each year at about the time of the release of the Annual Report, at reasonable cost and omitting any proprietary information, the Directors report to shareholders their assessment of the quantum of greenhouse gas emissions we are responsible for financing calculated, for example, in accordance with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol guidance.”