Westpac in rift with BCA on climate change policy

  • Jun 12, 2019
  • Brisbane Times

The BCA is a powerful lobby group made up of the chief executives of more than 100 of Australia's biggest companies. Six member companies have announced or conducted reviews of their business association memberships over diverging views on climate change, the ACCR said last month.

Telstra last month announced an "alignment review" of its key industry association memberships over climate change policy, saying at the time that lobby groups should refrain from advocacy where there was no "broad consensus." The telecommunications giant is expected to publish the review in the second half of 2019.

The chief executive of the BCA, Jennifer Westacott, said in May that the reviews of industry association membership were in response to "activist pressure." On climate change, she said Australia needed a "realistic, pragmatic plan" that included a market-based mechanism to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The BCA has previously copped criticism over a Twitter post last year that slammed Labor's target for emissions reduction as "economy wrecking."

The disagreement comes as banks have faced growing shareholder pressure to deal with risks from lending to carbon-intensive sectors such as coal mining and coal-fired electricity generation.

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