NAB has once again failed to match its rhetoric and commitments on climate change with real action, refinancing a new gas pipeline project in Canada. At its 2021 annual general meeting (AGM) NAB Chairman Phil Chronican told shareholders and Traditional Owners that its financing of the enormous climate-wrecking Coastal GasLink pipeline was an “historical issue” and that NAB has “no intention” of doing any further financing of greenfield oil and gas extraction.
From that statement, you’d be forgiven for thinking NAB would no longer be involved in financing this or similar projects. But this is a bank that has time and again shown it can’t be trusted on climate change.
We recently became aware that in July 2022 NAB was involved in refinancing a loan to the 670 kilometre pipeline project. According to finance sector sources, Coastal GasLink has had to refinance and increase its previous loan by a whopping CAD $1.669 billion (approx. AUD $1.861 billion) due to significant cost blow-outs in the construction phase. NAB’s involvement in the increased loan exposes it to this destructive and controversial project for a further two years until 2029, when the debt matures.
Based on conservative estimates, this pipeline would enable the release of 610 million tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime, more than 80% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2020. In no way is this project in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement or consistent with the International Energy Agency’s net zero emissions by 2050 scenario.
As well as being incompatible with limiting warming to 1.5°C, the pipeline is also currently being constructed on the unceded lands of the Wet’suwet’en First Nations people. The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Nation fiercely oppose the project and have not provided their free, prior and informed consent. Coastal GasLink’s gas pipeline crosses approximately 625 rivers, creeks, waters, streams and lakes on its route across British Columbia.
NAB’s claim that its involvement in this climate wrecking project was only “historical” has been revealed as false. Its commitment to Coastal GasLink is not only current, but has been extended by a further two years. Take action: tell NAB you won’t put up with its climate deception and real action aligned with net zero emissions means avoiding any new fossil fuel projects.
Tell NAB that financing new fossil fuel projects like polluting gas pipelines is unacceptable