My name is Billy and I am a volunteer with the AYCC in Victoria. I first heard about the AYCC through a friend during a discussion we were having about potential volunteer opportunities. She recommended them highly, and with climate change being something I already had an interest in, I was soon signing my first petitions and then expressed an interest to volunteer.
This morning, after 45 minutes of trying to lodge an official complaint with ANZ, the bank’s position on customer concern over fossil fuel investment has become clear.
Harriet Leadbetter, 23, has been a customer of ANZ since primary school. But after hearing that ANZ is Australia’s biggest investor in fossil fuels, she wanted to make an official complaint to her bank and hear their position - before deciding what she would do with her money.
“I am worried both about the financial risk of my money being invested in fossil fuels, and the impact that fueling climate disruption will have on my future.” Harriet Leadbetter said. “A recent Reuters report found that funds that invested in fossil fuels were outperformed by those that didn’t, and today a Climate Council study stated that 90% of Australia’s coal needs to stay in the ground - there is a real risk new fossil fuel projects will become stranded assets”
“As a young person, I am incredibly concerned about climate change because it’s my future on the line. When I found out that ANZ has invested $6.5 billion in fossil fuels since 2008, I was shocked that my money was being used to fund the destruction of my future. But today I learnt that ANZ isn’t interested in customers’ concerns” Harriet said.
"When I went to the Bourke St branch and tried to lodge a complaint, I was bluntly told that ANZ won't be responding to customers' complaints about this issue," said Harriet.
“It’s outrageous that ANZ won’t be responding to the concerns of their own customers about coal and the Great Barrier Reef,” said Kirsty Albion, National Director of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition. “Why would ANZ refuse to listen to and respond to its own customers about their concerns over climate and fossil fuel risks?”
The Australian Youth Climate Coalition has had more than 5000 people pledge to dump their bank over the controversial coal proposals in the Galilee Basin and on the Great Barrier Reef, and are supporting these customers to visit their bank and complain in person.