With Westpac out, Adani’s proposed Carmichael mega coal mine looks in doubt again.
There’s a lot of love for Westpac this Friday, and plenty of anger too. It’s all because Australia’s second largest bank has overhauled its policy of lending to coal mining projects.
An announcement by Westpac overnight effectively killed off any potential commitment by the bank to help fund Indian mining giant Adani’s proposed Carmichael “mega coal mine” in Queensland. The backflip means Westpac will pay more than lip service to its long-stated commitment to combating climate change, and can be interpreted as a direct response to intense public pressure.
But senior Turnbull government figures are furious. Queensland Senator Matthew Canavan, who has long cast the potential mine as an issue about jobs, jobs and jobs, accused the bank of turning its back on Queensland. Canavan reportedly has urged Queenslanders to take their mortgage business elsewhere.
But activists are crowing about a decision which they believe will be good for the climate, and even better for the Great Barrier Reef — given that huge ships using nearby bulk coal terminals would expose the Reef to potential environmental disaster.
“Westpac’s decision to rule out funding for new coal basins — including the Adani mega mine — is an enormous blow to this project and the future of coal in Australia after sustained community pressure from around the country,” said Blair Palese, CEOP of climate activist group 350.org.
For the rest of this column, click here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/04/28/political-fury-as-australias-second-largest-bank-refuses-to-fun_a_22059145/