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A major UK bank has announced today it is pulling out of one of the world's most controversial coal developments following an international campaign by Greenpeace and others.
UK-based international bank Standard Chartered has become the second financial institutional in the space of just a few days to walk away from the proposed Carmichael mega coal mine in Queensland, Australia.
The prominent bank has been the leading financial adviser to the companies planning to dig Australia's largest coal mine. A vast coalition of environmental campaigners has warned the development could threaten the Great Barrier Reef and set off a carbon time bomb.
Only last week, Greenpeace UK's executive director John Sauven wrote to the bank's bosses asking them to come clean about their current role. Today, a Standard Chartered spokesperson told Greenpeace UK that they will no longer provide financial advice to the project.
Greenpeace has welcomed the decision by Standard Chartered to end their involvement with the Carmichael coal mine.
"This is a victory for anyone who cares about the future of both the Great Barrier Reef and the world's efforts to tackle climate change," said Greenpeace campaigner Sebastian Bock. "Getting anywhere near this controversial project is now a massive reputational risk even for some of the world's most powerful banks. The Australian government should now take notice and rethink their support for one of the most environmentally destructive fossil fuel developments in the world."
Standard Chartered's move is the third blow to the Carmichael mine in just a few days. Last week, the federal court of Australia overturned the government approval for the mine. Just hours later the Commonwealth Bank of Australia announced it was walking away from the venture.
Carmichael would be Australia's largest coal mine and one of the largest in the world. On the doorstep of the Great Barrier Reef, it would require massive seafloor dredging and port expansion, resulting in hundreds more coal ships sailing through Reef waters. At 28,000 hectares, it would also produce 121 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions yearly at maximum production driving climate change - the greatest threat to the Reef.