Barclays PLC has formally backed away from investing in mountaintop removal coal-mining, according to a statement released this week by the bank.
Barclays also conceded “time is running out for the practice,” according to The Guardian’s Karl Mathiesen, who notes that mountaintop removal is known within the industry as MTR and that it has been a common practice especially in Appalachia, where rubble and spoils are typically dumped in valleys and streams.
The bank was the biggest single financier for MTR in 2015, loaning $550 to support mountaintop-removal operations.
Excerpts from Mathiesen’s article:
- “According to a BankTrack analyst, Barclays helped to raise finance for the world’s largest mountaintop removal miner, Alpha Natural Resources, as recently as May 2014. It was involved in at least five transactions with Alpha during 2013, when other banks were cutting ties with the company.”
- “The decision by Barclays follows similar policy changes by PNC Bank, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, BNP Paribas, RBS and UBS. But campaigners said the Barclays decision was the most significant yet.”
- “Sam Lund-Harket, energy justice campaigner at Global Justice Now said the Barclays’ decision was important in the winding down of mountaintop coal mining. ‘But MTR is just one aspect of the bank’s appalling record in fossil fuel finance. Research last year showed that Barclays was the fourth largest financier internationally of the coal sector as a whole. There’s an urgent need for Barclays and other banks to turn off the finance flows that are enabling the expansion of the fossil fuel industry and exacerbating the climate crisis.’”