Moreland Says #StopAdani: outside Westpac then Commbank Coburg on May 12

April 27, 2017 at 4:04 pm 1 comment

CommBank, dump Adani, dump Coal. Photo: Julian Meehan

Climate Action Moreland has joined the #StopAdani campaign(1) under the name Moreland Says #StopAdani.

We will be holding an action outside the Coburg Westpac branch (482 Sydney Rd) on Friday May 12 from 12.30pm to say thankyou to Westpac for adopting a climate policy, while not perfect, effectively rules out funding the Adani Carmichael mine and any Galilee Basin mines.
(Facebook Event)

We intend to follow this with a protest outside of CommBank Coburg branch. The Commonwealth Bank still has no policy that explicitly rules out new fossil fuel projects including the Adani project. The bank has been silent on funding Adani.

After making our presence felt outside Commbank, we will march to Peter Khalil’s office (if he doesn’t attend).

Our aims are two fold:

  • to put pressure on CommBank to publicly commit not to fund Adani’s coal project, and
  • for our Federal Labor MP Peter Khalil to come out in public opposition to Adani’s coal project

We are seeking endorsements from local groups. Endorsing groups will be invited to provide a speaker at this event.

The latest financial and project assessment of Adani by IEEFA’s Tim Buckley argues the project is more unbankable than ever, with project economics remaining poor, indicating a high risk of sustained loss making.

“Adani’s proposal has all the fundamentals of a feckless entrepreneurial scheme reminiscent of those last seen in Australia in the 1980s,” said Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Research at IEEFA and lead author of the report. “Absent massive taxpayer subsidies, no independent investor would give the proposal a second glace given its strategic and financial predicament, particularly set against a rapidly declining market for seaborne thermal coal.”(2)

Commonwealth Bank

The Commonwealth Bank cancelled a contract to provide financial advise to Adani in August 2015, but never ruled out providing funding or any other support.

According to Market Forces, Commonwealth Bank’s 2015 Environment Policy supports the goal of holding global warming below two degrees, but the bank still has no policy that rules out new fossil fuel projects including the Adani project. The bank has been silent on funding Adani.

The Commonwealth Bank has some $20,590 million invested in fossil fuel projects. The Bank has been an aggressive investor in fossil fuel projects as shown by this table by Market Forces of new fossil fuel investments by Australian banks since the Paris Agreement set a temperature target of well below 2 degrees.

Project name and location Australian Banks invovled Lifetime CO2 emissions
TOTAL EMISSIONS 3121 Mt
Sabine Pass LNG Terminal, Louisiana, USA Commonwealth Bank 1,634 Mt
Johan Sverdrup offshore oil field, Norway Commonwealth Bank, ANZ 966 Mt
Elk-Antelope gas field, Papua New Guinea ANZ, Westpac 341 Mt
Heidelberg deep water oil field, Gulf of Mexico Commonwealth Bank 86 Mt
Westmoreland 925 MW CCGT plant, Pennsylvania, USA Commonwealth Bank 51 Mt
Towantic Energy 785 MW CCGT plant, Connecticut, USA NAB 43 Mt

Credit: Market Forces

Westpac

On 28 April Westpac ruled out funding for any Galilee basin mine, including Adani’s Carmichael mine. We will acknowledge Westpac’s response and call on our local Labor MP to publicly oppose all new coal mines, especially the Adani mine.

Up until release of their Climate change Position statement and 2020 action Plan (PDF), Westpac had not ruled out funding the mine, despite their protestations that they adhere to sustainability in their lending practices and support the Paris Agreement 2 degree target. See for example the answer by Lindsey Maxsted, Chairman of Westpac Group, at Westpac Bank’s 2016 AGM.

In 2016 Westpac invested some $1451 million in fossil fuel projects. They have previously provided loans of $640 million for Adani to purchase and expand the coal export terminal at Abbot Point.

Many international banks have already ruled out financing the mine. Westpac head of media communications, David Lording, commented that the bank has not been approached for funding by Adani. “But if we are approached we would look at it in the same way we look at all such funding proposals, in regard to any economic, governance and social impact,” Mr Lording said.

An except from Westpac’s climate policy on coal mining:

“However, for new thermal coal proposals we will: Limit lending to any new thermal coal mines or projects (including those of existing customers) to only existing coal producing basins and where the calorific value for that mine ranks in at least the top 15% globally. We define the top 15% as having a specific energy content of at least 6,300 kCal/kg Gross As Received. This value is referred to as the Newcastle high energy coal benchmark.”

The Galilee basin is a new coal basin still to be developed, and Adani Carmichael Coal has an energy content of ~5,200kcal Gross as Received (4,950kcal NAR), as Referenced by Adani Mining Pty Ltd in Queensland Land Court in 2014. This is well under the Newcastle high energy benchmark test. On both grounds the mine should fail if they seek loan financing from Westpac.

Westpac has also set a $10 billion target for lending to climate change solutions by 2020 and $25 billion by 2030. But they have a lot of catchup and redirection of funding to match past fossil fuel investments.

Wills MP Peter Khalil

Peter Khalil MP signed the Climate Emergency Declaration in December. As he is aware that we are in a climate emergency, he should be publicly opposing the Adani Carmichael mine as inconsistent with the science and our Paris Agreement climate commitments, and of the grave risk of developing an uneconomic and a stranded asset. 95 per cent of Australian coal needs to stay in the ground undeveloped to meet a 2C climate target(3).

Members of Climate Action Moreland attended Khalil’s office in March and his Policy advisor handed us a statement which stated that he supports Bill Shorten’s stance of no public funding or subsidies for Adani. We believe this stance from our MP is insufficient and inconsistent with his support of a climate emergency.

Khalil is a Labor party parliamentary backbencher so can and should publicly make a stance. We need him to do so and follow the lead of Moreland Council.

Moreland Council have already taken a leadership role voting to oppose the Adani Carmichael Mine at the February 2017 council meeting.


Notes:
(1) The Stop Adani campaign and week of action targeting Westpac is supported by numerous organisations including 350.org, Getup!, AYCC, ACF, Seed, Bob Brown Foundation, and many more (http://www.stopadani.com/build_the_movement)

(2) Tim Buckley, IEEFA media release, 24 April 2017, Adani’s Carmichael Idea Is More Unbankable Than Ever. http://ieefa.org/ieefa-press-release-adanis-carmichael-mine-project-unbankable-ever/

(3) Christophe McGlade & Paul Ekins, 2015, The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °C, Nature 517, 187–190 (08 January 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14016 (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v517/n7533/full/nature14016.html)

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Entry filed under: Adani, campaigns, coal closures, coal export, Event, rallies & protests. Tags: , , , , .

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