[Press release]

Johannesburg: Fossil fuel divestment campaigners today celebrated news that Nedbank intends to divest from the coal-fired Kelvin Power Station near Johannesburg. The bank has been the target of the Fossil Free Africa campaign which is calling for South African banks to disclose their fossil fuel investments and ultimately stop investing in future coal and oil projects.

The news comes as the global case against coal has been gathering pace as the global financial industry reappraises the risk of investing in future projects. Recent analyst reports from Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Citigroup have all challenged the case for continued investment in the coal industry. Yesterday Barclays, one of the worlds largest financiers of mountaintop removal coal mining announced it will end support for the destructive practice.

Ferrial Adam of climate change campaign 350Africa.org comments:

“This is a victory in the fight by people against climate change. Coal is the biggest polluter of air and water and the biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases that are driving our changing climate.

“Nedbank has taken a baby step but has made the right decision to divest from Kelvin Power Station. South Africa’s banks now need to catch up as the global banking industry is finally waking up to the risks associated with coal.

“Financial analysts reports acknowledge that power plant regulations, a potential price on carbon, and competition from renewable energy sources risk “stranding” coal assets. Now is the time for Nedbank, Standard and Absa, and others, to take a long hard look at the reality of risky coal assets. South Africa’s addiction to coal is not going to solve our energy crisis it will only make it worse when solar and wind are the only sustainable long term solution.

“With billions of rands in loans on the line, global banks have acknowledged that it’s not a question of if climate risk will translate into financial risk, but when. It’s time that South African banks acknowledge the risks, starting by disclosing exactly how much they invest in coal, oil and gas”.



Kelvin Power sale: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/topic/kelvin-power-station

Full Barclays policy Mountaintop Mining policy available here: http://www.barclays.com/content/dam/barclayspublic/docs/Citizenship/public-policy/Mountaintop_Removal_Policy_Position.pdf