Australia: Westpac rules out loan to Adani Group’s coal mine, prompts govt. criticism; incl. companies statements

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Article
9 May 2017

Australia doesn't need Adani's Carmichael coalmine, Westpac chief says

Author: Paul Karp, The Guardian (UK)

The Adani Carmichael coalmine is not needed to support the economy, the Westpac chief executive [Brian Hartzer] has said in defence of his bank's decision not to finance the mine....Westpac's decision to set a climate policy...was based on its acceptance that climate change should be limited to 2C by 2050...Hartzer said the bank's advice was that "all the coal that is required to support the economy between now and 2050 can be met by mines in existing basins". "Given the long timeframes associated with opening up new basins, we therefore said we don't think we need to support that." Asked about resources and the northern Australia minister Matt Canavan's call for a boycott of Westpac, Hartzer said it was a "free country – people can say what they like"...He noted Westpac supported four coalmines and coal infrastructure in north Queensland and would support the extension of existing mines. "It's not a policy targeted on any particular area. It's a policy designed to take a pragmatic step, based on the science, to do our part ... to lead towards a low-emission economy."...

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Article
28 April 2017

Big four banks distance themselves from Adani coalmine as Westpac rules out loan

Author: Joshua Robertson, The Guardian (UK)

Australia's big four banks have all ruled out funding or withdrawn from Adani's Queensland coal project, after...Westpac the country's second-largest bank, released a new climate policy on Friday, saying it would limit lending for new thermal coal projects to "only existing coal producing basins". Canavan...the minister for northern Australia, invited Queenslanders seeking home loans or term deposits to boycott Westpac as a result of its decision...National Australia Bank ruled out funding the Carmichael project in September 2015, a month after Commonwealth Bank parted ways with Adani as project finance adviser. The CEO of ANZ, Shayne Elliott, in effect ruled out financing the mine last December when he predicted a downward shift in the bank's exposure to coalmining would continue for the foreseeable future...The Adani spokesman said the company was "fervently committed" to the project "despite Westpac and other Australian financial houses choosing to ignore the opportunity to invest"."The financial houses have, instead, chosen to bow to environmental activists," he said. "

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Article
28 April 2017

Westpac rules out financing Adani Group's controversial coal mine project under new climate change policy

Author: Stephen Long, ABC (Australia)

Westpac's new climate change policy is bad news for Adani's Carmichael mine in Queensland, 28 Apr 2017

Westpac has effectively ruled out financing Adani Group's controversial, giant coal mine in Queensland's Galilee Basin under a new climate change policy..."Our lending to customers in the thermal coal sector is limited to those that have a calorific value which ranks in the top quartile globally," the new position statement said. "Corporations are wimps these days in standing up up these (environmental) activists," Senator Canavan told a press conference..."(Westpac is) more interested in listening to Sydney activists than job-hungry Queenslanders." The policy also commits Westpac to actively reduce the emissions of the power generation sector and to support a price on carbon, as well as a transition to a "net zero-emissions economy."...The policy is a major win for environmental groups and other critics who have been pressuring the bank to rule out lending for the Adani mine, which, if it goes ahead, will be Australia's largest coal mine and the biggest export coal venture in the world...Westpac is the 19th bank globally to either specifically, or by way of policy, commit to not funding the Adani project and other new coal mines in the Galilee Basin region.

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