Climate and finance


Climate risks are financial risks. The Paris Climate Agreement means ‘business as usual’ is no longer an option. Australian regulators have confirmed climate change is a financial risk. Barristers’ advice puts directors on notice for not considering the risks. Government officials must act with care and diligence. These are the new realities for investors and financiers.

But climate change risks are not being taken seriously. That’s where we step in.

EJA exposed serious flaws in plans for a government subsidy to support Adani’s Carmichael project – a proposal for the world’s largest new coal mine. The Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) considered lending $1 billion in taxpayers’ money to a coal railway to service Adani’s mine. EJA exposed NAIF board members’ conflicts of interest, raised serious questions about NAIF’s Risk Appetite Statement and its Anti-Money Laundering policy and advised that NAIF’s officials would breach their duties if the loan proceeds.

EJA’s research has revealed the legal framework governing the operation of Australia’s Export Finance and Insurance Corporation (EFIC) contains Constitutional, political and legal roadblocks that would preclude loans and payments for projects like Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. Read our report and analysis.

EJA is the only legal practice in the world to file court proceedings against a bank over climate risk disclosure. In July 2017 we lodged the case in the Federal Court of Australia against the largest public company in Australia, the Commonwealth Bank. The case was brought by long-term shareholders alleging the bank failed to adequately disclose climate related risks in its annual report.

A report by EJA, Fracking the Northern Territory, examined the NT Government’s recent decision to lift its popular moratorium on hydraulic fracturing following a scientific inquiry into the impacts of fracking. In July 2018 EJA, on behalf of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), has requested that the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) remove an exemption that allows Jemena’s Northern Gas Pipeline to not comply with National Gas Rules. The exemption means consumers could be out of pocket more than $2.5 billion over 15 years when buying fracked Northern Territory gas funnelled through Jemena’s pipeline.

NAIF prepared to do risky business

September 4, 2017

Body considering Adani loan has loose governing framework

August 28, 2017

Climate change risk disclosure case goes before the Federal Court

August 8, 2017

Superannuation trustee duties and climate risk

August 3, 2017

New block to Adani coal plans

May 29, 2017

NAIF directors can learn from Westpac on climate risk

May 5, 2017

Adani ineligible for government NAIF funding

December 6, 2016

David Barnden: Climate & Finance lawyer

December 10, 2015

Climate and finance: news and media

December 10, 2018

NT’s deal with gas company to cost consumers $2.7 billion and enable fracking -OLD

October 7, 2018

Whitehaven Coal buckles on carbon disclosure after ASIC warning (Australian Financial Review)

October 3, 2018

Super fund alleged to have breached duties over climate change risk (Sydney Morning Herald)

September 20, 2018

Response to ASIC report on climate risk disclosure

August 13, 2018

Pension funds warned of legal action over climate risk (Financial Times)

August 8, 2018

Great Barrier Reef grant decision broke govt’s own rules, environmental lawyers say (ABC)