SAN FRANCISCO - Bill Barclay, Global Finance Campaigner for Rainforest Action Network, released the following statement today praising ANZ Bank for its decision to withhold funding for Australian lumber giant Gunns Ltd's controversial Tasmanian pulp mill project:
"Today's announcement is a testament to the unifying power of grassroots organizing in opposition to environmentally destructive projects. We congratulate ANZ for heeding the concerns of so many impassioned citizens and environmentalists - not just in Tasmania, but around the globe. In addition to its potentially devastating impacts on Tasmania's remaining old-growth forests, the Bell Bay pulp mill proposal has been plagued since its inception by Gunns' factual misrepresentations and shady backroom dealings.
"We welcome ANZ into the growing family of environmentally responsible banking institutions and strongly encourage other international lenders to follow suit. Our hope is that today's announcement serves as a death knell to the proposed Bell Bay pulp mill, as any bank that tries to fill the funding void left by ANZ will most certainly face a firestorm of public criticism and widespread, organized opposition."
Rainforest Action Network has long criticized Gunns for its destructive logging practices, which include clear-cutting virgin forests, scorching the clear-cut land with napalm-like firebombs, and killing remaining wildlife with carrots laced with poisons. The Bell Bay pulp mill proposal has met with vigorous public opposition and been roundly condemned by local and international environmental NGOs.
Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit: www.ran.org