(Adds details about the plan, background)
Nov 25 (Reuters) – Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ.AX) said on Friday it had earmarked A$100 billion ($67.63 billion) to help its customers lower carbon emissions by 2030, as it looks to accelerate its transition to net zero.
The country’s fourth-largest lender said it was on track to set targets for nine priority sectors by the end of the decade, including oil and gas, to ensure at least 75% of its portfolio emissions were on a net zero pathway by the end of 2024.
With global investor focus sharply pivoted towards climate change, banks have come under scrutiny for their ties with fossil fuel projects. They have been under pressure to set goals to cut emissions and raise investment in clean energy projects.
ANZ said it would lower its scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2025 and 90% by 2030. It had earlier aimed to cut these emissions by 24% by 2025 and 35% by 2030, respectively.
It also said it would reduce exposure to its largest-emitting customers that do not improve their emission transition plans by 2025.
ANZ, a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance (NZBA), said it was on track to exit all direct lending to thermal coal mining well ahead of its target.
The NZBA is a coalition of nearly 100 banks representing almost half of the world’s banking assets. The members commit to aligning their lending and investment portfolios with net-zero emissions by 2050.
In July, Westpac unveiled plans to reduce its lending to coal, oil and gas companies by nearly a quarter by 2030. ($1 = 1.4786 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi and Jaskiran Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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