Coal terminal near Great Barrier Reef: our position
Deutsche Bank has a long track record of supporting environmental sustainability and takes the future of the Great Barrier Reef very seriously. A campaign by several NGOs asserted that Deutsche Bank was the most likely Bank to back expansion at Abbot Point due to an alleged financing of a prior expansion.
Fact is that our only involvement with Abbot Point was as one of three banks that in 2013 helped the leaseholders to refinance their lease on the 30-year-old terminal owned and previously operated by the Queensland government.
Deutsche Bank’s Environmental and Social Reputational Risk Framework (ES Framework) requires environmental and social due diligence as an integral part of the approval process for doing business. This process needs to be followed also, and especially, for transactions in the extractive industry and infrastructure. It employs sector-specific guidelines that also help identify appropriate mitigation actions where possible.
A bank policy regulates the procedures for transactions in connection with activities in or near World Heritage Sites. According to this policy, Deutsche Bank does not support activities unless there is consensus between the government and UNESCO that the planned activities do not place the outstanding universal value of the site at risk.
We observe that currently there is no consensus between UNESCO and the Australian government regarding the expansion of Abbot point. Since our guidance requires such a consensus as a minimum, we would not consider a financing request at this point in time.