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Market Forces call to action – Deutsche Bank is getting cosy with Whitehaven

Hi Community,

Financial news source Debtwire reports Deutsche Bank is preparing to arrange funds for Whitehaven Coal’s climate-wrecking coal business.

This could be the money Whitehaven needs for new coal mines like Vickery and Winchester South. Will you tell Deutsche Bank to back-off?

Debtwire says Deutsche Bank organised a roadshow for creditors this week and could act as a “bookrunner” in a future bond issue [1]. Whitehaven’s pivot to bond markets is not unexpected. In September the company flagged this move due to the rapidly shrinking pool of debt finance, thanks to major banks reducing their lending to coal [2].

In fact, Deutsche Bank’s own coal policy says the bank “will not provide any financing for greenfield thermal coal mining” [3]. Yet Whitehaven – an undiversified coal mining company – is planning three massive new thermal coal developments at Vickery, Winchester South and Narrabri South [4].

Deutsche Bank’s thermal coal exclusion policy is utterly meaningless if it allows the bank to arrange finance for Whitehaven. Tell Deutsche Bank it’s risking its reputation with this decision.

Whitehaven’s new coal mines and expansions are completely inconsistent with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5ºC, which scientists have warned requires 95% of Australia’s coal to remain unextracted [5]. Deutsche Bank – a bank that claims to support the Paris Agreement – must now provide a clear commitment that it will take no further part in arranging finance for Whitehaven.

If enough of us speak up, Deutsche Bank will have to listen.

Thanks for taking action.

Sincerely,

Christian on behalf of Market Forces

[1] Debtwire (subscription only), Whitehaven Coal to start online NDR for credit investors next week (24 September 2021).

[2] Peter Ker (The Australian Financial Review), Coal boom takes Whitehaven from zero to hero (26 August 2021).

[3] Deutsche Bank, Environmental and Social Policy Framework (July 2020).

[4] Market Forces, Whitehaven Coal (2021).

[5] Dan Welsby et al (Nature), Unextractable fossil fuels in a 1.5 °C world (8 September 2021).

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