The Big Four banks
Over the last 5 years, the Big Four banks (ANZ, Westpac, CommBank & NAB) have lent over $35 billion to fossil fuels. They are a key pillar of support for the fossil fuel industries which are the #1 cause of climate damage. All Big Four banks claim to support the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, yet are doing the opposite by continuing to support a huge expansion of fossil fuel industries.
NAB has proven to be one of the worst, recently making a number of terrible decisions to increase its support of massive fossil fuel projects. In September, NAB is releasing its new Oil & Gas Policy, which presents a great opportunity to build pressure on key decision makers. By singling out one of the Big Four and winning, we can create a domino effect by then going after the others.
How we win
The Stop Adani campaign showed that it is possible for a grassroots movement to take on the Big Four and win. By talking to bank staff and engaging in a range of creative and disruptive tactics, the Stop Adani campaign was able to build huge internal resistance within the banks and ultimately force them to rule out financing the Adani coal mine.
The Big Four banks rely on misinformation to deliberately misrepresent their climate credentials to staff and customers — claiming that they are aligning their investment decisions with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. By Telling the Truth to staff, we can build enormous pressure on NAB’s leadership team to cut the spin and start actually doing what they claim to be doing.
What’s at stake
This year, there is a massive government-supported push to expand the methane gas industry. In particular, key investment decisions will be made on the Burrup Hub in Western Australia — the single most polluting fossil fuel project ever attempted in Australia’s history.
Other major fossil fuel projects, like Beetaloo Basin in the NT and Santos’ Narrabri Gas Project in the Pilliga forest will also soon need finance before they can proceed.
What can I do?
The best thing you can do is adopt your local NAB branch, use the resources in this kit, and start doing outreach events to tell the truth to staff and customers. Over time, you can build a team, escalate to some more fun, creative ways to get attention, and lastly engage in disruption of NAB branches, ATMs and events (if you’re up for it!).