Thursday, May 14, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters - 14th May 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

There has been a subtle change over recent months within the banking sector regarding investment in the coal industry. Many companies are looking for new ways to invest money away from fossil fuels, generally not because of any ethical concerns over climate change but because of the loss of value of these reserves as the world looks away from this damaging way of producing energy.

During this current trend, it was surprising to read about one of Britain’s largest banks, Standard Chartered, and its loan of £450 million to one of the biggest coal mines in the world, in Queensland, Australia. It is well known that the present Australian government is led by an adamant climate change denier and many environmental measures have been cut back so it’s no surprise that Australia is going ahead with a new mine. At least eleven international banks have distanced themselves from funding new coal mines in this area but Standard Chartered has gone ahead.

Further concerns regarding this development have been voiced by Unesco because of the situation of the port from where the 60 million tonnes per year of coal will be exported which is on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Site. Apart from damage to the reef itself from 11,000 ships passing through each year, the ancestral lands of Aboriginal groups would be destroyed and already critically endangered birds would be pushed to extinction.

The project would create a ‘carbon bomb’, undermining efforts to restrict global temperature rise to 2°C.

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