BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 22 May '15

Pressure mounts on the CBA amid anti-coal protests

The Great Barrier Reef, one of the greatest wonders of the natural world, is under attack by the fossil fuel industry.

The Indian coal company Adani wants to build two mega coal ports next to the World Heritage Site at Abbot Point and Galilee Basin, dredging through some of the world’s most ecologically sensitive areas.

Adani and the CBA

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is reportedly bankrolling the project, but The Australian reports the CBA is acting as Adani’s financial adviser and hasn’t yet been asked to finance it.

Adani and the Commonwealth Bank want to ship out millions of tonnes of more unburnable coal, which is already driving global climate change with disastrous impacts on the reef. The largest ever structure built by organic life, visible from space, is at danger of being killed off as a result.

Call to action

Yesterday, Divest London joined groups across the world – from Sydney to New York – to call on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia to stop bankrolling the destruction of the reef.

Click here to read Divest London’s letter to the Commonwealth Bank regarding its involvement with Adani’s Galilee Basin and Abbot Point Coal Projects.

Pressure works

Public pressure has already forced several international banks to pull out from financing the coal ports and the Commonwealth Bank could do the same.

The Australian reported that the CBA made the decision to close its flagship Elizabeth Street branch in Melbourne from 11am on 20 May, amid disruption from the coordinated anti-coal protest, Raise the Heat.

Over the past 18 months, thousands of CommBank customers have left the bank in protest over its fossil fuel funding.

‘This is the reality of modern-day protest movements, where the spectacle that surrounds a carefully orchestrated event — and its capacity to go viral on social media — is just as important as the underlying principle.’

The Australian, 21 May 2015

Raise the Heat

Raise the Heat on CommBank is a four-day event organised by 350.org and backed by other environmental NGOs. It comes at a critical stage in the fight to stop the Galilee Basin mega coal mines that it says ‘will cook the climate and trash the Reef’.

‘From 19-23 May, we will put Commonwealth Bank’s reputation on the line. Either the bank heeds our call and publicly rules out funding the mines and ports OR they face a creative & unrelenting campaign.’

Raise the Heat

Click here to find out more about the Fossil Free campaign.