Barclays reviews MTR coal mining investment stance
Following years of pressure and protests from campaigners, Barclays has released a policy position statement on Mountain Top Removal (MTR) coal mining in which it states: “Provision of financial support to companies which are significant producers of MTR sourced coal will be agreed by exception only.”
MTR is a controversial form of coal mining in which entire mountain tops or ridgeways are destroyed, with enormous amounts of mining waste being dumped into nearby valleys, destroying waterways and communities. The practice has been particularly controversial in the Appalachia mountain region in the US.
According to research released in April 2014, Barclays was the lead international financier of coal companies practicing MTR, while between 2005 and 2014, Barclays was the fourth biggest financier of the coal sector as a whole, including coal mining and coal power companies.
Sam Lund-Harket, energy justice campaigner at Global Justice Now commented: “It’s significant that the bank that has been the most heavily involved in financing this destructive coal mining practice is now recognising the horrific impacts MTR continues to have on both communities and on vast swathes of mountain ecosystems.
"This is a victory for the account holders, civil society groups and Appalachian community organisers who have all put pressure on Barclays to stop financially enabling this particularly toxic practice, but there is still a long way to go.
"We need commitments from Barclays and other banks to stop bankrolling all fossil fuel companies.”
Yann Louvel, the Climate and Energy Campaign Coordinator for BankTrack added: "This positive move from Barclays will add pressure to other European banks that are still involved in MTR coal mining in the United States, like Deutsche Bank in Germany or Credit Agricole in France. They need to follow suit and stop financing MTR immediately."
Picture credit: © Alan Gignoux | Dreamstime.com