Deutsche Bank has withdrawn from any involvement in the Abbott Point coal terminal expansion, citing concerns regarding its social licence to operate according to an ABC report.
Reuters reported last week that the financial institution pulled out of the controversial expansion project on the grounds that UNESCO and the Australian government have come to different conclusions regarding the reef’s safety. According to the news outlet, Deutsche Bank Co-chief Executive Juergen Fitschen said, “[a]s we have seen, there is currently no consensus between UNESCO and the Australian government regarding the expansion of Abbot Point in the vicinity of the Great Barrier Reef. Our policy requires such a consensus at the least … [w]e therefore would not consider applications for the financing of an expansion any further.”
The Australian government approved a plan to facilitate the coal port’s construction by dumping 3 million cubic meters of dredged material near the reef in January that has catalyzed vocal opposition by a number of groups.