Market Commentary

Suncorp Exits Thermal Coal

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in Market Commentary


Suncorp has implemented a plan to phase out its exposure to thermal coal by 2025, facing a resolution from shareholders at its upcoming annual meeting demanding further divestment from fossil fuels. As a result of its Responsible Investment Policy and its Responsible Banking and Insurance Policy implemented earlier this year, the bank said it is not directly investing in, financing or underwriting new thermal coal mining extraction projects, or new thermal coal electricity generation. Suncorp is the second Australian insurer to exit from thermal coal this year, after QBE committed to phase out its exposure to the fossil fuel by 2030. According to activist shareholder group Market Forces, there are now no Australian providers giving insurance for new thermal coal projects.

Despite Suncorp’s new commitment, Market Forces has lodged a resolution on behalf of 100 shareholders, asking that the bank sets targets to phase out all fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – in its investments and underwritings. The resolution will be up for consideration in the company’s annual general meeting later this year. Suncorp noted the resolution which will be up for consideration at its AGM, which asked the targets be “consistent with the goal of the Paris Agreement to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase of global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.” The resolution also asks that the company disclose its plans and progress on the short, medium and long targets annually, starting with the 2019-20 annual report.

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