The Australian Greens congratulate the Royal Bank of Scotland on their decision not to finance the Abbot Point coal port expansion, coming just before the World Heritage Committee is due to decide the fate of the Great Barrier Reef.
“The Royal Bank of Scotland joins Deutsche Bank and HSBC in announcing that they will not finance the Abbot Point coal port expansion to make it the world’s biggest coal port in our precious Great Barrier Reef,” Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson said.
“I’ll be congratulating these banks in the Senate and urging Australian banks to do the same when I raise the Great Barrier Reef as a Matter of Public Importance today.
“BHP, Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Lend Lease have pulled out of Abbot Point coal port, as the coal price has dropped with the world embracing renewables instead.
“These big names don’t want to be associated with this Reef-destroying project that both the Newman and Abbott governments are allowing to go ahead.
“The World Heritage Committee has expressed concern about the Abbot Point coal port and is expected to decide overnight whether to give the Australian Government until next February to save the Reef’s World Heritage status from being downgraded to ‘In Danger’.
“The international experts are condemning the Abbott-approved Abbot Point coal port and international banks are ruling out financing it.
“It’s time for the Abbott Government to put a stop to this plan to allow 5 million tonnes of dredge spoil to be dumped in the Reef where it can smother coral and seagrass beds.
“If the old parties are serious about saving the Great Barrier Reef, they should support my bill currently in the Parliament to adopt the World Heritage Committee’s recommendations and to ban offshore dumping in the Reef,” Senator Waters said.