Extinction Rebellion

Climate activists in ACT and WA turn up the heat on NAB

Climate activists in ACT and WA turn up the heat on NAB

By Extinction Rebellion Australia, on 15 November 2021


XR Rebels occupied the Canberra City NAB, 'greenwashing' and graffitiing the bank's windows, accompanied by street theatre and fossil fuel wraiths. NAB branches in Perth were visited by WA activists including the XRWA Drum group and 'Say No to Scarborough Gas'.

The actions were in response to NAB's announcement last week that it will continue investing in fossil fuels, including funding major projects such as the Scarborough Gas field off Western Australia – the biggest fossil fuel project ever attempted in Australia’s history and a carbon bomb of global significance.

Fossil Fuel Wraiths

Fossil Fuel Wraiths at Canberra City NAB

Gerard DeRuyter from Extinction Rebellion ACT said:\ "We are asking NAB to cut the greenwash, implement meaningful climate policy and stop funding climate chaos. NAB's announcement last week about their long-awaited Oil & Gas Policy Review was carefully greenwashed to make it appear to be a step in the right direction. But it will lock in massive fossil fuel expansion and undermine global efforts to address the climate crisis.

"This is despite vigorous community opposition to fossil fuel expansion in Australia, based on all the climate emergency science, including that of the United Nations and the International Energy Agency. NAB seems to have missed the key finding of the International Energy Agency's 'Net Zero by 2050' report: it requires an immediate end to new fossil fuels.

"NAB had an enormous opportunity to rule out funding of fossil fuels forever and be the agenda-setter for Australian banks. No amount of 'shareholder profits' can possibly make what they are doing OK. Business-as-usual in a climate emergency cannot continue."

Activists at Canberra City NAB

Activists at Canberra City NAB

Extinction Rebellion has run a sustained, decentralised campaign targeting NAB across the country since March this year. Over 30 XR local groups across Australia have been involved in the #DontNABOurFuture campaign. Stickering ATMs, holding sit-ins, chalking, phone banking and engaging the public, customers and staff. This is alongside campaigns by other groups, including The Chaser, Australian Conservation Foundation, 350.org and Market Forces.

A statement from XR WA pointed out that: "With the Scarborough gas investment decision just around the corner (December 13th), it's never been more critical to stand up and act now. We need to let investors and fossil fuel companies know that what they're doing is ecocide and we WONT sit back and let our future burn."

A colourful action in Perth WA

A colourful action in Perth WA included ‘Say No to Scarborough Gas’ and the XRWA Drum group - beats on the streets!

In May this year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) called for an immediate end to new fossil fuel projects in its 'Net Zero by 2050' report (the IEA is widely regarded as the most authoritative body on matters relating to world energy policy).

Despite the IEA concluding net zero by 2050 means there’s no room for new fossil fuel supply projects, the banks have been pumping billions of dollars into projects that expand the fossil fuel industry.

Research from the Australia Institute shows the Scarborough Gas project, for which NAB is lead financier, would release over 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon pollution – equal to 15 coal-fired power stations every year.

Since 2016 NAB has invested $7 billion in fossil fuels, the number one cause of the Earth’s destruction and the sixth mass extinction. NAB is the worst of the Big Four Banks in terms of its thermal coal policy.

NAB financed the world’s biggest coal port (Newcastle) in November last year after ANZ pulled out.

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