Big four banks spend big bucks on projects that hurt reef
THE big four banks have poured nearly $4 billion into coal and gas export projects in Queensland which plan to export the commodities through the Great Barrier Reef, research by an environmental lobby argues.
The Friends of the Earth-affiliated lobby group, Market Forces, has released a research paper on the funds behind the coal and LNG boom in the sunshine state on Thursday.
The paper showed that of the big four banks, ANZ was the biggest lender to companies building or proposing coal and gas projects which would export their products near or through the Great Barrier Reef.
It said the Australian bank was helping fund six of the massive projects, to the tune of $1.1 billion, but stopped short of alleging the bank had breached its own corporate social responsibility policy.
The paper also revealed 15 domestic and international banks, as well as seven state-owned export-import credit agencies, had helped fund such deals in the past five years.While comment was sought from ANZ regarding the paper, no response was received by deadline.
The paper also alleged such investments were enabling "projects that damage the Great Barrier Reef and drive climate change", but did not provide any evidence to back the claims, other than that coal sourced from Australia would add to the globe's overall carbon emissions.
It also called on Australians to "use their money as a force for good" and join a movement "working to get banks out of coal and gas".
The paper sourced its information from company filings, market announcements, and media articles.