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Another blow for ANZ, as greenwash exposed

23 August 2019

Climate campaigners impersonating bank staff have taken to the streets this week to expose ANZ Bank’s sponsorship of the fossil fuel industry. In the series of satirical actions in Wellington, Dunedin, and Auckland, the ‘bank staff’ promoted ANZ’s usually classified sponsorship of the Petroleum Club to the public.

Climate justice organisation, 350 Aotearoa campaigner Claudia Palmer said “ANZ Bank is greenwashing its complicity in the climate crisis. While claiming to be carbon neutral, it is lending to fossil fuel companies and sponsoring exclusive industry groups that enable the advancement of coal, oil, and gas projects that are causing climate change.”

“ANZ relies on the secret nature of the Petroleum Club events to mask its relationship with oil and gas: if ANZ was proud of its sponsorship of the Petroleum Club it would promote its involvement in the same way that we see its brand all over sports teams and its other charity partners. We’re taking action and doing ANZ’s promotion on its behalf so that New Zealanders know the truth about ANZ’s financial support of the climate crisis.”

In Dunedin, member of the public were invited to “share in the profits” of ANZ’s investments and offered an ANZ sponsored oily souvenir to take home. In Wellington, wine-glasses of ‘oil’ taste-testers were passed around with participants ironically clinking glasses to the impacts of climate change. In Auckland, members of the public were encouraged to ‘vote’ on ANZ Banks’s next sponsorship of a fossil fuel project: an open cast coal mine on Mount Eden, oil drilling in the Waitemata Harbour, or a coal-fired power plant on Auckland’s Viaduct.

Palmer said “The satire was taken well by the public. It’s clear New Zealanders are overwhelmingly concerned about the state of the climate. After hearing a bank openly promote its ties to the fossil fuel industry, passers-by left with a better understanding of the negative impact banks can have on the planet”

The actions coincide with a poster campaign that was launched outside ANZ branches across New Zealand this week to expose ANZ Bank’s sponsorship of ‘The Petroleum Club’. The posters play on ANZ Bank’s recent ad campaigns, replacing the banks’ tagline ‘healthy homes start here’ with ‘the climate crisis starts here’, and featured ANZ’s logo dripping in oil.

Palmer said, “If ANZ aims to be taken seriously on its claims to be socially and environmentally responsible seriously, the bank must come clean and cut its ties with the fossil fuel industry.” ANZ is currently the bank operating in Aotearoa that lends the most money to the fossil fuel industry.


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