Feb 172015
 

 By Merel van der Mark, BankTrack, 17 February 2015. 

Despite ongoing rainforest clearance, APRIL and its affiliate companies in the Royal Golden Eagle group do not seem to have any problems in finding money to support their activities.

UPDATE: On 26th February, Santander announced that it would stop financing APRIL until the company implemented “new sustainability measures which address its involvement with deforestation”. 

Greenpeace last week launched a major campaign against Santander for its role in financing APRIL (Asia Pacific Resources International Limited), the Indonesian pulp and paper producer described by Greenpeace as “Indonesia’s biggest forest destroyer”. Santander has been singled out for good reasons, but it is not alone in financing the company.

Between December 2011 and April 2014, APRIL and its affiliate companies secured at least $1.87 billion in financial support through three syndicated loan deals, which involved 22 known banks.

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Feb 132015
 
By Yann Louvel and Greig Aitken, BankTrack, 13 February 2015. 

Global Divestment Day kicks off today, and is set to feature over 400 actions across six continents on Friday and Saturday. Just a week ago, activists received a notable boost: the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s Government Pension Global Fund (GPGF), disclosed that in 2014 it had divested from 32 coal companies. Continue reading »

Feb 132015
 

By Oleg Savistky, National Ecological Center of Ukraine and CEE BankWatch Network, 13 February 2015.

In a street action being held today in Kiev as part of the Global Divestment Day, Ukrainians call on public and private investors to end financing for fossil fuels, in particular coal, and instead invest in renewable energy sources which represent the only independent source for the country.

European commercial banks (such as Deutsche Bank, Uni Credit Bank, ING Bank, Raiffeisen Zentral Bank, Erste Group Bank, RBS and Barclays) are major investors in the coal industry in Ukraine, most notably in the integrated coal and energy company DTEK (see its entry on coalbanks.org).

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Feb 102015
 

Are you ditching fossil fuels by closing your bank account this‪ ‎Divestment Day?

Since this coming Saturday is both Global Divestment Day *and* Valentine’s Day, we’ve designed this beautiful Valentine’s card for you to send your bank. Post it to their Facebook page to let them know your true feelings! Or why not print it and send it in the post with a personalized greeting?

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Jan 292015
 

By Yann Louvel and Greig Aitken, BankTrack, 29 January 2015.

A flurry of coal news and statistics in the first weeks of 2015 have been catching our eye at BankTrack, confirming as they do that around the world the industry is in deep trouble. Nagging away at the back of the mind however, and based on our specific lens through which we assess the coal sector’s prospects, are a few enduring concerns.

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Jan 212015
 

By Ryan Brightwell, BankTrack. Originally published on Righting Finance, 13 January 2015.

Last month in Geneva, at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, BankTrack launched a research report examining the performance of 32 large global banks against the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. We developed 12 criteria, each closely based on the text of the Guiding Principles themselves, to assess where banks were making progress in implementing the Guiding Principles and where there were gaps, three and a half years on from their adoption by the Human Rights Council. So far, so uncontroversial, one may think.

However, the Thun Group of Banks, the informal discussion group of banks on human rights, responded to say that the exercise itself was “premature” – at least in its attempts to examine whether banks were meeting their obligations to provide access to remedy to victims of human rights abuse. Continue reading »

Dec 092014
 

By Rey Edward, Friends of the Earth, originally published on the FOE Blog on 25 November 2014.

Chinese banks are the largest lenders to development projects in the world. As Chinese banks increasingly invest in development projects overseas, will they also invest in environmental and social  sustainability? Our new report, “Going out, But Going Green? Assessing the Implementation of China’s Green Credit Guidelines Overseas”, examines the extent of bank compliance with China’s landmark, green finance policy.

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Dec 082014
 

 By Justin Guay, Sierra Club, and Yann Louvel, BankTrack, 5 December 2014, originally published on the Huffington Post blog.

After nearly destroying the global financial system, big international banks are yet again undermining international stability, this time by underwriting the coal industry’s devastating effect on climate disruption and human health.

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Dec 032014
 

RAN briefing finds pending $900 million deal threatens forests, peatlands and communities across Indonesia.

Indonesian palm oil firmpalm oil BW Plantation (BWPT) approved last week a USD $900 million share rights offering in a bid to finance its merger with Green Eagle Holdings (GEH). New stock not purchased by existing shareholders will be traded on the Jakarta Stock Exchange (IDX) from Monday December 8.

RAN released a briefing note, available here, on the controversial deal today, alerting investors to poorly disclosed Conflict Palm Oil risks.

The deal expands BWPT’s holdings from just under 100,000 ha to over 400,000 ha, propelling it into the rank of Indonesia’s third largest palm oil company listed on the IDX. However, 75% of the new land bank – with holdings in Papua, Sulewesi, West, East and South Kalimantan and Sumatra – is unplanted and includes large tracts of rainforests, Indigenous and local community lands, and areas of carbon-rich peatlands. Continue reading »

Nov 042014
 

By Julien Vincent, Market Forces, Ben Collins, Rainforest Action Network and Yann Louvel, BankTrack, 30 October 2014, originally published on Renew Economy

The proposed expansion of the Abbot Point coal export terminal is running out of friends in the banking world. This week’s news that US giants Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase will not finance the proposed coal export terminals at Abbot Point bring the total number of banks to have made this commitment to nine. Even Morgan Stanley, currently in business with Adani over the partial sale of the existing coal export terminal at Abbot Point, acknowledge the environmental risks associated with the proposed new terminals and won’t provide funding to expand the coal port.

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