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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

"Banks that broke the economy also lead on financing coal plants"

Sustainablebusiness.com via Reuters: "Banks that broke the economy also lead on financing coal plants":
The top three banks that finance coal plants and thus are major contributors to climate change [and the destruction of entire ecosystems] are:

- JP Morgan Chase: $22 billion.

- Citi: $18.27 billion

- Bank of America: $16.79 billion

They are followed by Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, and Royal Bank of Scotland

The top 20 coal financing banks are from the US, UK, Germany, France, Switzerland, China [Bank of China], Italy and Japan [Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group]. Since 2005, the 93 banks analyzed in a study have financed coal to the tune of $309 billion.

"Bankrolling Climate Change," released at the Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa, examines commercial bank lending practices in the coal industry. It was produced by several NGOs - urgewald (Germany), groundwork and Earthlife Africa Johannesburg (South Africa) and international network, BankTrack.
Read the entire report at Banktrack.org.

Not only China and India, but the United States provides examples of the devastation that coal production and burning wrought upon the natural environment. Southeastern Appalachia is reminscent of western Tohoku's breathtaking mountainous landscape and deep traditional culture. This beautiful region, similarly to Tohoku, has become a "national sacrifice zone."

To produce a tiny percentage (around 4%) of U.S. energy output, coal companies have bombed nearly 500 of the oldest mountains in North America encompassing 800,000 acres. Entire ecosystems and centuries-old small farming communities have been obliterated. As in Tohoku, war-like destructive assaults upon nature and people by dirty energy companies have been met with political, social, and media activist resistance by the people of the entire region and their worldwide supporters.

For more information, please see I Love Mountains: End Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining, United Mountain Defense, Plundering Appalachia: A National Sacrifice Zone, Appalachian Voices, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and 40 Days of Prayer for the Mountains.

For more background on coal in Asia, see "Grassroots Asians part of interconnected worldwide coal-free movement: Coal is not the answer for post-3.11 Japan" (TTT, July 11, 2011)

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