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A new level of success on NAB

Move Beyond Coal’s campaign to get NAB out of funding climate wrecker Whitehaven Coal has hit a new level of impact and success. 

Last week in their 2023 Climate Report, NAB announced the following: “NAB has further reduced exposure to thermal coal and, as at 30 September 2023, NAB no longer has any (a) corporate lending to thermal coal mining customers or (b) project finance in respect of thermal coal mining assets. NAB intends to maintain this position into the future.” [1]

In other words - NAB has announced it plans to never again invest in a company whose primary activity is mining thermal coal.

This is a massive blow to the thermal coal sector and a testament to the huge people-powered movement that has been pushing NAB to end funding for Whitehaven Coal and thermal coal in order to protect lives, livelihoods and our climate. From Extinction Rebellion to to Market Forces and the Move Beyond Coal movement, thousands of people in the last few years have pushed for NAB to put an end to dangerous fossil fuel lending. While there is much more work to be done, this announcement proves that people-powered movements can drive finance out of fossil fuels!  

When news broke that NAB was dropping climate wrecker Whitehaven Coal from their books in July 2023, we knew that Move Beyond Coal’s debut campaign had been a success. When we heard that all 13 banks previously involved with Whitehaven’s loan had pulled out, leaving Whitehaven without their $1 billion corporate credit card, we knew something huge had happened. Now we know that community pressure on NAB had a resounding impact on NAB, pushing them to drop not just Whitehaven, but all companies focused on mining thermal coal.

What’s more, Westpac Bank, who also dropped Whitehaven Coal in July 2023, have also taken a significant step by bringing forward their planned exit from thermal coal by 5 years, from 2030 to 2025. This applies to companies that earn >15% of their revenue from thermal coal. [2]

It’s clear that thermal coal is longer an attractive thing to invest in, and that our movement’s relentless pressure has helped to bring forward Australian banks’ exit from polluting thermal coal. From here on out, companies can’t expect to primarily mine thermal coal and keep getting funding from Australian banks. 

While it’s great news that NAB are no longer funding undiversified thermal coal companies, they still remain exposed to Glencore, which despite being a diversified company is one of Australia’s biggest producers of thermal and metallurgical coal and still has coal expansion plans. We’ll save any congratulations for NAB until they have no involvement with climate-wrecking coal expansion plans. [3]

In the meantime, a huge congratulations to everyone that has been putting pressure on NAB and Westpac to step up to their climate commitments. This is a resounding win for our grassroots movement and excellent news for the climate. 

Read more about NAB’s climate report from Market Forces here


[1] NAB 2023 Climate Report

[2] Market Forces

[3] Market Forces


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