Germany, 23 May 2014: The Australian Environment Minister has been put on notice, says Greenpeace, after one of the world’s largest banks, Deutsche Bank, pulled back from funding Abbot Point coal expansion at its Annual General Meeting last night, citing concern over its impact on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
“This change of policy for Deutsche Bank gives pause for thought for Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt. The approval of Carmichael mega-mine, which is the driving force behind the expansion of the Abbot Point coal terminal, is currently sitting in his in-tray.”
“Hunt should follow suit, reject the Carmichael mega-mine and do the right thing by the Reef and the climate.”
Last night, Deutsche Bank Co-Chair Juergen Fitschen clarified the bank’s position: “As there is clearly no consensus between the Australian Government and the UNESCO, regarding the impacts of the Abbot Point expansion on the Reef, we will not consider financial applications for an expansion of Abbot Point.”
The head of Deutsche Bank’s Supervisory Board, Mr. Paul Achleitner said: “We are currently not involved with this project [Abbot Point coal port expansion] and will also not be involved with it in the future.”
“This decision is a clear signal to Commonwealth Bank, ANZ, Westpac and NAB that investing in the Abbot Point coal port carries serious reputational risk,” said Greenpeace Campaigns Director Ben Pearson.
“How is it that a German bank recognizes the unacceptable impacts of coal expansion in a World Heritage Area before our own Australian banks do? The Big 4 banks need to immediately freeze all investments in coal infrastructure along the Great Barrier Reef,” Pearson said.
Video footage and photographs of Abbot Point terminal available here: www.greenpeacemedia.org Username: photos Password: green
For images or more information, contact:
Elsa Evers Ph: 0438 204 041