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ANZ's Role In Global Climate Crisis

MEDIA RELEASE - 12th December 2007

International Day Highlights ANZ's Role In Global Climate Crisis

Large protests in Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and in front of ANZ branches throughout five states in Australia today demanded that the ANZ bank stop funding forest destruction in Papua New Guinea (PNG), and in the Australian state of Tasmania.

This coincides with the Bali Climate conference and Australia’s apparent inability to commit to an interim target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Logging and landclearing in Tasmania account for at least 30% of that states greenhouse gas emissions and should it be built, a proposed pulp mill in Tasmania is conservatively estimated to add 2% to Australia’s annual emissions.

"The fact that world leaders and scientists are currently meeting in Bali and discussing logging and deforestation, and the devastating climate effects it has in releasing millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year, should be a major wakeup call to the ANZ to stop funding these climate polluting practices,” said Paul Oosting, spokesperson for The Wilderness Society.

The Stern report on climate change stated that ‘curbing deforestation is a highly cost-effective way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Action to preserve the remaining areas of natural forest is needed urgently’.

“Both governments and banks have a global responsibility to help cut greenhouse gas emissions. This starts with refusing support for destructive logging practices and moving to help protect intact native forests.”

"Tasmanian forests are some of the most "carbon rich" of any forests in the world. As we stand outside the ANZ today, ancient trees 70-80 metres tall are being cleared and felled in Southern Tasmania's Styx Valley, in a woodchip driven logging operation," said Mr Oosting.

Gunns’, the giant Tasmanian woodchipping company, propose to build a pulp mill that would consume up to 4.5 million tonnes of wood each year, much of it sourced from native forests. The logging needed to supply this mill would create greenhouse gasses equivalent to putting an additional 2.3 million cars on the road each year.

“Internationally condemned logging in PNG is still being carried out by notorious Malaysian company Rimbunan Hijau, an ANZ client.”

"Responsible action on climate change can start with ANZ refusing to fund Gunns' proposed pulp mill in Tasmania and cutting funds that bankroll destructive logging operations.”


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