December 14, 2017 congratulates NAB for its policy to drop investment in new thermal coal; other banks must now do the same  

SYDNEY, 14 DECEMBER  2017 — Australia congratulates the National Australia Bank for its decision to ban investments in new thermal coal projects (including extensions) and calls on other banks to follow suit.

“It is now time for the CBA, Westpac and the ANZ to follow NAB’s lead,” said Glen Klatovsky, deputy CEO of Australia.

In the last few days we have seen massive private banks like AXA, ING and BNP Paribas pull away from fossil fuel investments. The World Bank announced its intention to walk away from oil and gas investments at the Macron Summit in Paris.

“So where is the CBA, ANZ and Westpac? They need to commit to divesting from fossil fuels. Given how quickly the Big Four banks were able to react to dropping ATM fees, we know they all have the capacity to act fast to keep up with one another when their competition has outstripped them. And that’s exactly what’s happened here with NAB’s policy to drop new thermal coal investment,” said  Klatovsky.

“NAB has done its homework and knows investing in new coal is a massive financial risk, as well as an environmental disaster. They know their customers want them to take this step.  We are calling on the rest of the Big Four banks to follow suit immediately.”

“In October, launched a national petition calling on all of the Big Four Banks to rule out investments in new coal immediately and to provide phase out plans for oil and gas for the near future. It’s great that NAB has listened.  We will now be focussing our attention on the other big banks.

“The private sector is leading the way while our Federal government remains under the influence of fossil fuel lobbyists like the Minerals Council of Australia.”

“The Coalition’s right wing is mired in 19th century thinking when coal was king. That time is well past. NAB knows that, the public knows that. It’s time the Australian government understood that, and abandoned support for new coal mines, like Adani’s mega mine in the Galilee Basin.”

“It’s impossible for the big banks to say they are committed to preventing global warming above 2 degrees Celsius without ruling out financing new coal, oil and gas.”