Australian Government Responsible for $828m in Fossil Fuel Investment

Fossil Fuel - Aus

The Australian Albanese government has been urged to put pressure on international banks as their shares have a direct link to multiple fossil fuel projects from 2016 – 2021. According to a recent research report, Australia’s involvement with these banks resulted in multi-million-dollar investments within unsustainable, emission-based projects equating to $828m.

With a collective investment of $32.85bn, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank have contributed to huge developments within fossil fuel usage. Almost completely linked to oil and gas production, these investments have no doubt been assisted by Australia’s shares during the same time.

Australia is yet to join the international agreement, the Glasgow Declaration, currently supported by 30 countries including the US and UK. The agreement prevents funding of unsustainable developments and requires governments to use their influence on multilateral banks to reduce investment within fossil fuels. Fyfe Strachan, the land and inclusive development director at Jubilee Australia Research Centre, states, “We have a significant influence and say over the work these banks do and that comes with a level of responsibility over the actions of those banks.”

Despite all 3 of these international banks claiming to have made progress in reducing their fossil fuel-based projects, loopholes still exist within these ‘commitments’. Such as the lack of transparency within the flow of funds which allow the continuous financing of gas projects. This report goes on to recommend that Australia develops an investment strategy that rules out the financing for fossil fuel projects.

Fossil Fuel - Glasgow Declaration
UNWTO – Glasgow Declaration

Australia have now been urged to sign the Glasgow Declaration, which will “end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector.” Currently, 45% of countries which have voting power on the World Bank have already signed the declaration. Australia’s support could tip the scales to a majority who back the end of fossil fuel financing.

With Australia ambitious to become a renewable energy superpower, financing fossil fuel projects is in direct conflict with their mission – signing the Glasgow statement will give legitimacy to their claims and allow them to lead the way within the Pacific region in tackling climate change.

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