LONDON, Nov. 27 (Reuters) – Amundi has announced that it has warned the State Bank of India that it will kick out one of the lender’s green bonds from a flagship fund if it helps finance a coal mine in Australia that has collapsed. met with strong opposition from environmental groups.
Amundi, which holds the bond in its Amundi Planet Emerging Green One fund, said it learned this week that the Indian bank was considering financing the Carmichael thermal coal mine in Australia.
Carmichael has drawn strong opposition from climate activists because of the potential carbon emissions that would be produced by the mine, at a time when many countries are moving away from coal to fight global warming.
Under pressure from investors, a series of banks and insurers have already severed ties with the project, the most recent being the insurer of Lloyd’s Apollo.
Jean Jacques Barberis of Amundi, director of the Institutional & Corporate Clients & ESG division, said the asset manager contacted the bank to express his concerns and sent a letter to management on Thursday.
The Amundi fund – the largest for emerging market green bonds – seeks to invest in bonds that help finance environmentally friendly projects, but also looks at the issuer to ensure its other activities are “consistent. “.
“We believe that SBI should not fund this project. It’s their decision, ultimately, but we have been extremely clear that, if they decide to do so, we will immediately divest, ”said Barberis.
The financing of the mine would be in “total contradiction” with the activities of the SBI financed by its green bond, he added. “We have engaged SBI, asking them not to participate (in the loan) … and now we are awaiting their responses.”
SBI was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters. The news was reported earlier by Environmental Finance. (Report by Simon Jessop, edited by Louise Heavens)