Like many, I am in total dismay that ANZ should even consider refusing to keep funding the coal export facilities in Newcastle (“ANZ gives port coal shoulder”, 9/2). What on earth is the bank thinking?
Overseas, coal-fired power stations are not going to close if Australia is no longer a coal exporter. For decades to come, countries will simply buy from other sources including those that very likely produce a poorer quality product resulting in increased pollution and from suppliers that have far less regard for mine safety.
A guaranteed outcome from not fully supporting our coal export industry at this time would be the loss of many Australian jobs for no good purpose. And we are all well aware of the hollowness of government promises concerning alternative employment; a few might benefit but most won’t.
ANZ would gain a lot more respect with more common sense and pragmatism and less blind ideology.
Peter Cockerill, Dee Why, NSW
No surprise that ANZ has continued with its irrational woke climate policy by refusing to keep funding Port of Newcastle. When it released its net zero action plan last year, I contacted it as a shareholder and concerned citizen, pointing out that nothing we do will make any difference while big emitters such as China and India produce far more CO2 emissions than us and intend to increase output for decades. Subsequent discussion indicated that the bank’s plan reflected stakeholder wishes and no number of facts I produced would change this.
This ridiculous situation is now widespread in government and industry, with facts pushed aside to accommodate emotional, ideologically driven nonsense. We don’t have time for this silliness to run its course. We urgently need a high-level, impartial inquiry into all aspects of climate and energy policy, starting with the role of CO2 emissions in climate and the efficacy of renewables to curb these emissions. Done properly, this would be enough to stop the rot in its tracks.
Doug Hurst, Chapman, ACT
This move by ANZ is discrimination based on environmental politics. What if the next move is to refuse loans to clients who wish to purchase petrol-driven cars rather than electric vehicles? What if the bank refuses loans to purchasers of houses that do not have solar panels? The list could be endless.
If ever there were a case for government intervention, this is it. Stop this madness.
Dennis Murphy, Hope Island, Qld
It would be interesting to know how ANZ thinks we will sustain a reliable electricity supply once all the coal-fired and gas-fired power stations have closed. Does it really think that wind and solar can do it? If so, we are in real trouble.
Chas Barter, Lower Mitcham, SA
ANZ’s acknowledgement that funding a major thermal coal port is inconsistent with its aim of being part of the transition to net zero emissions by 2050 is not surprising. Banks and investors around the world are rapidly reducing their material exposures to thermal coal.
What is surprising and disappointing is the news that National Australia Bank, which like ANZ has a climate policy that claims to align the bank’s portfolio with the Paris Agreement goals, is prepared to take on the risk of financing the Newcastle coal port. With this decision, NAB has aligned itself with the past, not the future. The most successful and secure banks will be those that invest in clean energy, clean transport and sustainable industries, not the polluting fuels of the 19th and 20th centuries.
May House, economic analyst and campaigner, Australian Conservation Foundation, Melbourne, Vic
An excellent article by Judith Sloan highlighting the futility of climate alarmism and the economic impact of outlandish predictions that have proved to be fallacious in the extreme (“Climate of fear dooms rational decision-making”, 9/2).
It was most probably coincidental that the article appeared on the same day that ANZ declined to participate in financing an upgrade of the Newcastle coal port.
It appears that a large number of our corporate decision-makers have begun to believe the alarmist predictions, with some catastrophic effects and economic doom looming as a result.
Simon Gamble, Noosa Heads, Qld
Extracted from The Australian