Five of the UK’s top banks have come under fire for funding the Indonesian coal boom, which campaigners say is destroying the environment and threatening the communities in Borneo, according to a new report by the World Development Movement.
The report revealed that HSBC, Barclays, Standard Chartered, the Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds have lent more money than banks from other countries for Indonesian coal since 2009.
According to the report, 83% of coal extracted in Borneo is mined by firms partly funded by UK banks.
Standard Chartered is reported to have loaned £640m to Indonesian firm Borneo Lumbung’s coal mine in 2012, a mine that polluted a river supplying drinking water to the people of the nearby Maruwei village.
Barclays is also accused of lending £127m to Bumi Resources and the company’s Kaltim Prima coal project is reported to be displacing indigenous communities.
BHP Billiton has received a total of £6.3bn since 2009 from Barclays, Standard Chartered, RBS and Lloyds.
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The report claims that BHP Billiton is planning to open coal mines across Borneo, which threaten to destroy large areas of rainforest on which indigenous people depend.
World Development Movement campaigner Alex Scrivener said the coal boom is leaving a trail of destruction across Indonesian Borneo, ‘wrecking the rainforest and wrecking people’s lives’.
“Here, as in so many fossil fuel projects across the world, the invisible hand of UK finance is at work,” Scrivener said.
“We have to stop our banks pouring billions into dirty energy that fuels climate change and ruins local people’s environments and livelihoods. And we have to stop destructive fossil fuel companies accessing UK investors’ money by listing on the London Stock Exchange.”
Image: 83% of coal extracted in Borneo is reported to have been mined by firms partly funded by UK banks. Photo: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.