At its Annual General Meeting, Deutsche Bank said it would not finance the expansion of the Abbot Point terminal near the Great Barrier Reef, responding to calls from environmental and tourism groups.
Deutsche Bank was one of three European banks that helped to refinance the lease on Abbott Point but has now said that it would not consider supporting the expansion unless there was a consensus between the Australian government and UNESCO on the environmental impact of the project.
Environmental groups have claimed this as a “win” in their fight against the port expansion. But according to Michael Roche, chief executive of the Queensland Resources Council, the “win” for the environmental lobbyists is at best symbolic as “based on its statement, it does not appear that Deutsche Bank has had any involvement with the planned port expansion.”
Roche went on to point out that: “[Deutsche Bank’s] requirement of an assurance from both the Australian government and UNESCO about protecting the Outstanding Universal Value (OUV) of the Great Barrier Reef can be readily met,” Roche added. “It is simply unfortunate that advisers to the World Heritage Committee have overlooked or misunderstood that their requested comprehensive assessments of dredging options have already been done and have established that there will not be an impact on the Reef’s OUV.”
Commenting on the news, a spokesperson for GVK Hancock – one of the companies involved in the expansion project said that the German bank’s decision would not impact the project “in any way”.
Deutsche Bank also continued its support for coal industry investments generally, saying in its General Meeting: Key Topics report, that: “given the increasing energy demand, in some regions of the world, coal cannot be avoided”.
Written by Jonathan Rowland
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/handling/23052014/deutsche_bank_abbot_point_decision_will_not_impact_the_project_coal884/