Today, 23 October, 350 Aotearoa and Coal Action Network Aotearoa set up a climate crime scene outside Westpac’s Lambton Quay branch in Wellington, following the launch of a campaign calling on Westpac to stop lending to Bathurst Resources, the company that wants to mine the Denniston Plateau for coal.

Bathurst Resources plans to dig up to 84 million tonnes of coal from the West Coast’s beautiful Denniston Plateau that would add up to 218 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and have a devastating effect on the area’s unique ecosystem. Westpac is providing financial backing for this project.

‘Westpac have not responded to our calls for them to live up to their own promises and stop funding climate change, so we’re back here today calling on them to do so’ said 350 Aotearoa National coordinator Ashlee Gross.

At least 80% of fossil fuels reserves must remain unburned if the world is to have a chance of staying below 2 degrees C of warming. The World Bank and European Investment Bank have recently announced their intentions to stop lending to coal projects, based on climate change concerns.

‘Westpac says it has made a commitment to put sustainability at the heart of its culture, lending and business. They need to live up to that promise by dumping the dirty business of coal,’ said Coal Action Network Aotearoa spokesperson Tim Jones.

A website has been launched where the public can send letters to Westpac calling on them to ‘Dump Denniston.

See more pictures from the action on our Facebook page