Heffa Schuecking, email@example.com, Tel: +49-160-96761436+49-160-96761436
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At Deutsche Bank's shareholder meeting last week, the bank announced an end to its support for mountaintop removal mining. In his speech, the bank's outgoing CEO, Juergen Fitschen, said: "Using explosives to destroy the summits of mountains does not seem to us to be a legitimate or ecologically sensible manner of surface mining. For this reason, we will no longer finance companies who are significantly involved in this type of coal extraction."
Heffa Schuecking, director of the German environment and human rights NGO urgewald, comments: "This is a real break-through as Deutsche Bank has played a major role in financing companies like Blackhawk Mining, the world's largest producer of mountaintop removal coal. " According to Schuecking, most major European banks have now adopted policies that exclude the top producers of coal extracted through mountaintop removal.
"In view of the extreme impacts of mountaintop removal mining on Appalachia's communities and environment, it is time to exclude not only the top producers, but all companies that use this brutal mining method," says Amanda Starbuck of Rainforest Action Network.
"Current policies often use a threshold based on what banks term ‘significant' coal production," explains Paul Corbit Brown from the Appalachian NGO Keeper of the Mountains. "But all of our mountains are significant and it shouldn't make a whit of difference whether they are blown up for 500,000 or 1 million tons of coal. Banks need to blacklist all companies that practice this egregious form of mining."
"Any bank that now continues financing mountaintop removal companies is positioning itself to become the prime target of NGO campaigns," adds Yann Louvel of BankTrack.