Finance big wigs should give coal a fair go

HOGSBACK is getting tired of plutocrats and finance industry titans trying to tell the world how to combat climate change and ditch coal. It’s good to see that the federal government is scrutinising this behaviour in the form of a special committee chaired by LNP backbencher George Christensen.
Finance big wigs should give coal a fair go Finance big wigs should give coal a fair go Finance big wigs should give coal a fair go Finance big wigs should give coal a fair go Finance big wigs should give coal a fair go

One of the richest people on the planet, Bill Gates, has also weighed in on the climate issue.

From the comfort of their high greenhouse-gas emitting private jets, finance chiefs survey the globe and issue missives to the worker bees below about how they should stop investing in coal mines.

They also like to lecture CEOs about how they should run their companies, regardless of the impact this will have on their shareholders, employees, and the communities they live in.  

BlackRock CEO Larry Fink has told companies within the multinational investment giant's US$8.67 trillion investment portfolio to show how they will achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and prove those plans have been signed off by their own board of directors.

Blackrock last year stated it would put environmental sustainability at the heart of its investment strategy, including divesting itself of fossil-fuel producers.

Fink is now checking to make sure companies are following his diktat.

One of the richest people on the planet, Bill Gates, has also weighed in on the climate issue and just released a book that he wants everyone to read and follow, titled How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need.

The Microsoft co-founder has urged cities and governments to use increased knowledge, data and technology to support urban transformation and adaptation in the face of the climate change threat.

Gates argues that we should be increasing access to vital knowledge, data and technology to protect urban area infrastructure, and "climate-proof" our cities.

With the top echelons of finance and industry insisting climate change should take precedence over everything, what chance does the coal industry have of growing and expanding in the resources rich regions of Central Queensland and the Hunter Valley?

Fortunately, the federal government has finally sought to examine the way the coal mining industry and its suppliers are being victimised by the finance industry's rigid climate change policies.

A key focus of the Trade and Investment Growth Committee, which start hearings next month, will be announcements by some banks and superannuation companies that they are withdrawing investment support for the coal industry.

Federal resources minister Keith Pitt described the behaviour of the insurance companies as being tantamount to "corporate activism".

He said even "Mum and Dad" small businesses could not access insurance or loans simply because they had some exposure to the coal industry.

"It is only fair that banks, superannuation companies and other financial institutions that are withdrawing investment in sections of the resources sector, explain to all those women and men why their jobs are not worth supporting," he said.

Given the number of people employed either directly or indirectly by the coal mining industry in Australia as well as the number of small businesses and suppliers it supports, Hogsback reckons the committee should be prepared to thoroughly investigate the impact of the finance industry discriminatory practices and call a halt to them.