Press release – 21 November, 2010Greenpeace is condemning ANZ’s hypocrisy after revelations the bank tried to hide a $150 million loan to recommission a highly polluting power station in Western Australia. This came just two weeks after accepting a major international award for ‘climate change mitigation and environmental performance.’This weekend’s Financial Review revealed that the secret loan to prop up the 40 year-old Muja Power plant was made on 30 September, just 15 days after ANZ proudly claimed top spot in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Earlier this week, Shirley In’t Veld, Chief Executive of Verve Energy – the state-run owners of Muja – let slip ANZ had demanded secrecy because of ‘reputational risk.’
“At best, this is a incompetent attempt at greenwash.  At worst, ANZ is guilty of misleading consumers and shareholders whilst knowingly exposing itself to serious reputational risk,” said Greenpeace Head of Campaigns, Stephen Campbell.
In October, Greenpeace launched a campaign to pressure Australia’s big four banks to commit to not finance new polluting coal-fired power stations.
Greenpeace is now additionally calling on Dow Jones to immediately re-assess ANZ’s position on its Sustainability Index in light of the secret deal.
Australia is at an energy cross-roads. We can either invest in clean renewable energy or lock ourselves into decades more of pollution by building the 12 coal-fired power stations currently in the pipeline. As the major financers of new power, Australia’s banks play a key role in defining our future.
“Not only is it plain wrong to back polluting power at a time when we urgently need to switch to clean energy, but as this episode reveals, it is also a major risk for banks,” said Campbell. “Australia’s banks need to be transparent about their exposure to pollution and commit to not finance new coal-fired power stations.”
Contact: Greenpeace Communications Officer, James Lorenz 0400 376 021
Notes:  Read the Pillars of Pollution report at: