Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Westpac customers switch to cleaner banks

Westpac customers switch to cleaner banks in face of coal financing

Scores of Westpac customers across New Zealand will be closing their accounts in the next few days, in response to the bank’s continued financing of Bathurst Resources, enabling their planned new coal mine on the Denniston Plateau.

Around 160 customers will be at Westpac branches in Wellington, Dunedin, Christchurch, Auckland, Tauranga, Nelson and other towns over the next three days (details below), cutting up their Eftpos cards and switching to banks that don’t finance the fossil fuel industry, as part of a campaign organised by 350 Aotearoa and Coal Action Network Aotearoa.

“Today is a victory for the climate, as customers are saying we’ve got a responsibility and a choice to look at what our money is funding, and we won’t keep financing Denniston or financing climate change,” said 350 Aotearoa spokesperson Ashlee Gross, who is switching her mortgage and bank accounts.

“Globally, coal, oil and gas companies’ business plans would mean digging up five times the fossil fuel reserves that we can afford to keep global warming to 2 degrees C. It’s very clear that continuing to finance Bathurst’s expansion plans means financing unsafe levels of climate change.”

Westpac markets itself as a bank that does business sustainably, but financing a company intent on contributing to climate change, at a time when the world’s scientists are telling us that nobody will be immune from the impacts, is the very definition of unsustainable.

“It’s clear that without Westpac’s loan, Bathurst would find it very difficult to start mining at all. But rather than respond to our concerns, Westpac has so far tried to deny responsibility. It’s time Westpac started walking its sustainability talk,” said Jeanette Fitzsimons of Coal Action Network Aotearoa.

A divestment movement is spreading rapidly around the world, with institutions including banks, universities and churches taking their money out of fossil fuels. To live up to its own sustainability promises, Westpac needs to do the same.

Westpac is financing Bathurst with $5 million in loans, as well as an overdraft facility. Current coal prices are too low for Bathurst to make a profit on the new mine, so they’re delaying bringing the mine up to full capacity, and waiting until the price of coal rises before they start exporting (note: unlikely in 2014, according to analysts).

The details of Westpac’s investments in Bathurst can be found here.
Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Parliament Today:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Paris Climate Deal Signed: Bennett 'Taking Advice' On Cancelling 'Dodgy' Credits

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett is "taking advice" on whether to cancel some or all of the so-called 'dodgy' carbon credits bought mainly by power and petrol companies to cover New Zealand's future obligations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news