Commonwealth Bank and coal
The National Australia Bank is one of the largest funders of coal power stations and coal projects in Australia.
Commonwealth Bank policy statements
The Commonwealth Bank participates in the following collective policies:
- Carbon Disclosure Project
- UN Global Compact
- UNEP Finance Initiative
- UNEP Principles for Responsible Investments
The Commonwealth Bank has also developed additional sustainability policies. Commonwealth Bank’s Environmental Policy  focuses on both the bank’s direct and indirect impact on the environment. However, no clear investment criteria are set. The asset management division of the bank, Colonial First State, has developed a Climate change position statement. This statement does not exclude assets operating in specific sectors but integrates environmental, social and governance considerations into its investment process. 
Commonwealth Bank funding on coal projects
According to a 2010 report for Greenpeace, over the past five years Commonwealth Bank invested A$402 million in coal mining, A$536 million in coal-fired power plants, A$ 440 million in port expansion projects and A$77 million in renewable energy in Australia. The following tables summarize the bank’s investments in the coal sector and the renewables sector respectively.
|Sector||Company||Amount (A$ million)||Coal amount (A$ million)|
|Ports||Newcastle - PWCS||100||100.0|
|Coal fired power stations||AGL Energy||115.1||8.6|
|Coal fired power stations||Alinta Energy||886.2||148.0|
|Coal fired power stations||CLP Group||750.5||123.0|
|Coal fired power stations||International Power||5.8||5.8|
|Coal fired power stations||NSW government||800||84.0|
|Coal fired power stations||Queensland government||1045.1||33.4|
|Coal fired power stations||Rio Tinto||302.5||1.5|
|Coal fired power stations||Transfield Services/TSI Fund||448||130.5|
|Coal fired power stations||Western Australia||41.4||0.8|
|Total coal fired power stations||535.8|
|Company||Amount (A$ million)||Renewables amount (A$ million)|
Articles and resources
- Carbon Disclosure Project, Carbon Disclosure Project website, accessed April 2011.
- UN Global Compact "Participant Information: Commonwealth Bank of Australia", UN Global Compact website, accessed April 2011.
- UNEP Finance Initiative "Our Members: Commonwealth Bank of Australia", UNEP Finance Initiative website, accessed April 2011.
- UNEP Principles for Responsible Investments "Commonwealth Bank", Banktrack website, accessed April 2011.
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s Environment Policy, Commonwealth Bank website, October 2008.
- Colonial First State Climate Change Position Statement, Commonwealth Bank website, 9 January, 2008.
- Profundo, "Australian banks financing coal and renewable energy", Greenpeace Australia, February 7, 2011.
- Greenpeace, "Pillars of Pollution: how Australia’s big four banks are propping up pollution", Greenpeace Australia, February 5, 2011.
Related SourceWatch articles
- Australia and coal
- Financing coal power stations in Australia
- ANZ and coal
- National Australia Bank and coal
- Westpac and coal