Federal Liberals Look to Stymie Banks on Climate

The Federal LNP’s attacks on the zero-carbon transition continued unabated leading into Christmas. Their latest target are banks, insurance companies and regulators seeking to factor climate risk into their economic forecasts while satisfying increasing consumer demand for climate action. 

In an exclusive fed to journalists at The Australian, Keith Pitt – QLD LNP MP and now Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia – announced the finance sector’s climate considerations would see them brought before Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth. Yes, that’s right. Australia’s minister for water is opposing the climate ‘radicalism’ of the Big Four banks and entities like the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority

Pitt has form with the current move. He was formerly Assistant Minister for Trade in the Turnbull government, but resigned in protest at Turnbull’s support for the Paris Climate Agreement.

Now he is upset with noted greenies ANZ. Last month, ANZ passed a shareholder resolution saying, “We support the Paris Agreement’s goal of transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050.” ANZ was in fact the last of the Big Four to announce it would no longer finance thermal coal projects.

ANZ has responded to public sentiment for climate action.

The parliamentary committee initially deferred a decision on whether to commence the inquiry requested by Pitt. If it is to go ahead, the committee will surely seek legal avenues to hinder or prevent the financial sector from boycotting businesses associated with the fossil fuel sector, which is of course the only way for them to meet carbon reduction commitments. 

The inquiry would be chaired by George Christensen, QLD National Chief Whip. Christensen has previously denied the link between climate change and natural disasters.

Political debate is invariably a broad terrain dotted with prejudices, disagreements and misunderstandings, but if there is a moderate consensus in Australia, it’s for a free market system with government intervention to regulate market excesses and provide the things the market won’t. The latest climate debacle shows that the Federal LNP are nowadays even less progressive than the unfettered free market itself