A new report released today by Market Forces and 350.org Australia shows how Australia’s ‘big four’ banks, supported by international investors, are literally Financing Reef Destruction.

The report makes it clear that the ‘big four’ Australian banks – ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and Westpac – play a critical role in enabling major fossil fuel projects. Combined, these banks lent $3.8 billion to coal ports and LNG terminals in the Great Barrier Reef Word Heritage Area since January 2008.

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef literally sits in the way of the fossil fuel industry and its massive expansion plans. Of the many new coal terminals planned just one port, Abbot Point, near Mackay, could increase almost nine-fold in capacity to become by far the biggest coal export port ever in the world.

350.org Australia and Market Forces are calling on customers of those banks to tell them to stop financing reef destruction or they will pull out their funds and go elsewhere.

Bill McKibben, coming to Australia in June for a “Global Warming: Do the Maths” tour, said “When you do the maths on avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, there simply isn’t enough room in the carbon budget for new fossil fuel projects.

“We’ve got to wind down the fossil fuel era with great haste if we’re going to keep the planet from overheating,” McKibben said. “This report provides Australians with the information they need to make hard decisions about where their money is invested and if it’s helping or destroying the planet.”