Sydney / Melbourne, 10 pm AEST 8 April 2015 (2 pm Central European Time)
The news that three major French banks have committed to not finance proposed coal mines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin is a massive blow to Adani, whose Carmichael mega mine will need billions in debt finance from a rapidly decreasing pool of potential lenders.
BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, and Credit Agricole have made statements that they will not finance proposed coal mines in the Galilee Basin or their associated infrastructure, such as new coal export terminals at Abbot Point.
The banks that have made such commitments rank among some of the world’s biggest lenders to the coal industry, as well as specifically within Australia. BNP Paribas has been the fifth biggest lender to coal mining in Australia since 2008 and by country of origin, France is the fifth biggest source of debt finance to the Australian fossil fuel industry.
This brings to eleven the number of international banks that have spoken out against the prospect of funding mega-coal mines in the Galilee Basin or new export terminals in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
“When it comes to securing finance for their massive coal mine and export terminal, Adani are simply running out of options”, said Market Forces Lead Campaigner Julien Vincent.
“That so many of the world’s biggest lenders to the coal industry can come out and public declare themselves as not involved speaks volumes about how unacceptable this project is from an environmental, reputational and economic standpoint.
“The Carmichael coal mine and Abbot Point export terminal will need billions of dollars in debt finance, requiring a syndicate of commercial lenders. To remove half of the world’s biggest coal lending banks from this list of potential funders takes more than just money off the table. It also means other banks are left wondering whether they should join a deal that so many of their peers have publicly ruled out.
“However, while major international banks have demonstrated common sense on this issue, we are yet to see the same statements from Australia’s major banks. It is astounding that banks based in New York, Paris, Edinburgh and Frankfurt are doing more to defend the Reef and climate from new coal project than our own Aussie banks.
In addition to the Australian banks, the focus for the global campaign to keep finance out of the Galilee Basin coal export projects shifts to Standard Chartered, with the UK bank currently Adani’s largest funder outside of India.