More than 100 climate activists formed a human chain outside the National Australia Bank (NAB) in Gadi/Sydney and a similar number in Meanjin/Brisbane on May 31, a day after a new Market Forces report showed it funds more coal than any other bank.
The protests were organised by Move Beyond Coal (MBC) and Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. The main NAB branch in Meanjin was forced to close for more than two hours.
MBC said NAB increased its funding of the fossil fuel industry to $4.5 billion over the past two years, almost three times as much as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and nearly twice the finance provided by Westpac. “NAB is a climate laggard and is trending backwards.”
The Market Forces report demonstrates that NAB is still the bank of choice for coal companies, including serial offenders Whitehaven Coal.
“NAB uses a corporate lending loophole to funnel billions to Australian coal giant Whitehaven Coal and the broader fossil fuel industry, having lent $370 million to thermal coal — the most of all the big 4 banks — since the Paris agreement was signed,” MBC said.
NAB has lent $268 million to climate-wrecking Whitehaven Coal since 2016, making the bank complicit in the North-West NSW Vickery coal mine, which is set to start building in June.
[For more information, visit www.movebeyondcoal.com.]