Contributed by Ugly
A year of campaigning and more than 100,000 people signing a petition, Commbank has finally decided to phase out investment in coal and this move the bank closer to turning away from fossil fossil fuels altogether
Protests outside branches of the bank and bad publicity had an effect.
It came to a head at the bank’s annual general meeting in Sydney, where the Chair, Catherine Livingstone announced the new policy. No more coal projects will be funded.
The bank has made a commitment remove its existing $6 billion investment in this carbon emission producing industry.
This is a major change for the better.
Anti-coal campaigners know that it is not enough to leave it at this and that the pressure will have to be kept on Commbank to do what it says it is going to do.
At the same time, this success will be used as leverage to induce other banks into going down the same road.
The banks are aware of how unpopular they are, and their advertising campaigns are geared around each of them telling the public that they are different to the others. They know they are vulnerable to losing customers. This is the reason why Commbank recently dropped its ATM charges and was followed by the other banks in a very short time.
The unpopularity of the banks has provided campaigners with an unusual opportunity to be effective and win significant concessions. With these under the belt, greater pressure can be put on politicians to make them act decisively, to stop support for fossil fuels and promote renewable alternatives.
Australia needs this to move towards a modern, sustainable economy.
There is still along way to go to make this a reality and it won’t be easy to get there. But every win takes us another step down this road.