Australia’s Macquarie bank to exit coal by 2024
Chief Executive Officer Shemara Wikramanayake said coal had never been a high priority for the group, but in a rather contradictory statement, she noted that the bank would remain engaged in the oil and gas sector until new technologies are developed.
The plan, she said, is to divest entirely of any remaining interests in the industry within three years.
Banks around the world are giving in to pressure from shareholders and pressure groups to avoid investing in coal. The Australian and New Zealand banking group (ANZ Bank), the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac, three of the country’s four largest banks, recently announced plans to stop funding coal.
The growing trend has left miners scrambling to find alternative funds for projects.
Still, fossil fuel companies are worth $ 18 trillion in listed stocks, which is a quarter of the total value of global stock markets, according to Carbon Tracker’s most recent estimate. They represent $ 8 trillion in corporate bonds, or more than half of the non-financial corporate bond market.
Unlisted debt – mostly owed to banks – could be four times as high, reaching nearly $ 32 trillion, suggests the London-based think tank.