August 5, 2015

Community Pressure Pushes Commbank out of Galilee Coal

SYDNEY, 5th August: Following a concerted community-led campaign, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia  has today confirmed that it has ended its involvement with Adani’s ill-fated Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin and Abbot Point Port expansion on the Great Barrier Reef.

Community pressure calling on Commbank to rule out involvement with the proposal has been building over the past year, with thousands of people taking action at hundreds of Commonwealth Bank branches and offices in cities on nearly every continent. Today’s announcement makes Commonwealth Bank the twelfth bank globally to rule out involvement in Adani’s Galilee coal export plans.

“Today’s announcement is a major win for the climate and the Reef and deals yet another massive blow to Adani’s disastrous Galilee coal plans. With 12 banks now out of the game, the Approvals rejected by the Courts and major public opposition at a global scale, there’s no way that Adani can get this project off the ground,” said Blair Palese, CEO of Australia.

“As an adviser, Commonwealth Bank was in line to be a leading lender to Adani’s Carmichael mega coal mine. Adani has not just lost hundreds of millions of dollars in debt finance that CBA could have brought, but the credibility that a major Australian institution brought to the project. That’s a bigger, more embarrassing blow and could cost this project billions of dollars,” said Julien Vincent, Lead Campaigner with Market Forces.

“CommBank has made the right decision for the climate, the reef and the community by ruling out involvement with Adani’s dangerous coal mine that would be exported through the Great Barrier Reef,” said Kirsty Albion, National Director of the AYCC.

“The Great Barrier Reef is a global treasure. Millions of people across 193 countries have taken action to protect the Great Barrier Reef from coal. Greenpeace commends the Commonwealth Bank on ruling out the Carmichael project due to its devastating environmental impact. It is now time for other banks in Australia and around the world to follow their lead and rule out any involvement in this environmentally disastrous, financially unviable coal project,” said Nikola Casule, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Australia Pacific.

“This is another massive setback for Adani’s dirty coal projects. Now it’s time for the other big 4 Australian banks to step up and throw Abbot Point and Carmichael into the dustbin of history where they belong”, said Sam Regester, Senior Campaigner with GetUp!

CommBank’s announcement comes on the heels of today’s Federal Court ruling overturning Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s approval of Adani’s Carmichael coal mine.

Contact: Krista Collard 0424 712 034