There were chants and clicking knitting needles on June 9 as the Illawarra Knitting Nannas Against Gas (IKNAG) and Wollongong Climate Action Network (WCAN) joined concerned community members for a large, loud and long lunchtime rally outside the Commonwealth Bank in Wollongong.
They were there to tell the bank: “Don't wreck the Reef, don't wreck the climate and don't fund Adani”.
The Nannas saw it as a “Call to Needles”. This is the third request from the Stop Adani rallies for a response from CommBank, which seems determined to ignore the letters delivered to every manager at all CommBank branches from Thirroul to Shellharbour.
“That’s a total of 21 letters,” said Nanna Cherry Hardaker. “And to add insult to injury, last week the bank managers told us to call their media department, but the person at the number they gave us said they dealt with ‘the media’ only so they couldn’t help and couldn’t say who would.”
“I keep thinking it’s really ConnBank,” said Nanna Annie Marlow. “But on the other hand perhaps it’s another sort of disorder like seriously chronic, woolly thinking, because anyone contemplating lending millions to a coal mine at today’s coal prices and their very shaky outlook, must have an awful lot of dropped stitches in their beanie-brains.”
“They certainly aren’t thinking about a safe future for their grandkids,” added Nanna Shirley Gladding, “because all that extra coal will shoot the planet way past the 2°C warm up and into catastrophic climate change.
“They have a message on their Corrimal ATM that says: ‘We are asking questions that matter to all of us, because together we can find new paths.’ They seem a bit lost on their new paths, there’s certainly no evidence they have needled the big question.
“It would be good if you'd answer our questions CommBank, and fantastic if you shared our Adani path, the one that is good for us, for the Great Barrier Reef, for our grandkids, for Australia, for the planet.”
Westpac and NAB have declared they will not fund Adani. CommBank has said it supports the 2°C global warming limit, but last year it lent $3.9 billion to fossil fuel projects.
To manage climate change at below the 2°C temperature rise, atmospheric carbon dioxide must be stabilised at below current levels. There is no leeway for new coal.
CommBank is expected to announce its reviewed climate change policy in the next few weeks.