Johan Frijns, Director, BankTrack. Tel: 0031612421667; email: email@example.com
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A major international coalition of campaign
groups is today launching a campaign calling on banks to publicly pledge to end
their multi-billion dollar financing for the coal industry, ahead of the UN
Climate Summit in Paris. The campaign is coordinated by BankTrack, the bank
campaign organisation, and is supported by over 40 environmental and
campaigning groups including Avaaz, Friends of the Earth US, Global Justice
Now, Global Witness, Greenpeace International, Market Forces, Rainforest Action
Network and the Sierra Club.
The Paris Pledge campaign is asking all private sector banks to make a public commitment to phase out their financing of both coal power and coal mining, before the start of the UN climate summit in Paris at the end of November. 
Johan Frijns, BankTrack's director, commented on the Paris Pledge campaign launch: "The burning of coal is the single biggest source of carbon emissions, leading to already ongoing and increasingly catastrophic climate change. To stay within the 2 degrees temperature threshold, the use of coal must come to an end. However, bank finance is continuing to provide the coal industry with last-gasp life support. BankTrack's latest research uncovered $500 billion in financing flowing from more than 90 international private banks to the coal sector in the period 2005-2014.
"Fortunately, we see signs that banks are beginning to understand that the days of coal are over. Many ethical banks are ahead and already do not finance coal, while Bank of America and Crédit Agricole have made commitments to pull out of the coal mining sector. Barclays, ING and Natixis have put an end to their financing of Mountaintop Removal coal mining. Deutsche Bank, HSBC, RBS, Barclays, Citi, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole and Société Générale have all ruled out financing coal infrastructure projects that threaten the Great Barrier reef, while recently the largest French banks also refused to finance the Rampal coal project in Bangladesh.
"This is all very encouraging but not enough. It's perfect timing ahead of the Paris climate summit to ramp up public pressure and get banks to pledge to quit financing coal altogether."
Catalina von Hildebrand, coordinator of the Paris Pledge campaign added: "We're asking banks to "do the Paris Pledge" and commit now to publish a detailed plan to phase out coal finance, no later than six months after the Paris Summit. We also invite banks that have already quit coal to join us by pledging to keep their funds out of the sector. By signing this Pledge, banks will show that they are ready to take the concrete steps necessary to reduce their fossil fuel finance, and they will be helping build momentum to support a strong deal for the climate in Paris."
In the coming months, BankTrack and campaign partners will seek massive support for the call for banks to sign the Pledge. Organisations and members of the public can support the call atdotheparispledge.org.
Notes for editors
1. The Paris Pledge website contains the text of the Paris Pledge text for banks to sign, provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to support the campaign and contains further background information and resources related to coal financing. See: http://dotheparispledge.org/.
2. For detailed research findings per bank see www.coalbanks.org.