One of the State Bank of India (SBI)’s investors, French giant Amundi has announced that it would sell off its SBI green bonds if the bank grants a Rs 5,000 crore loan to Adanis Carmichael coal mine in Australia.
“We consider SBI should not finance this project. Ultimately it’s their decision but we’ve been extremely clear on the fact that if they decide to do it, we would immediately disinvest,” Director of the Institutional Corporate Clients Division & ESG, Jean Jacques Barberis, was quoted as saying by a global wire service.
“Financing the mine would be in “total contradiction” to the SBI activities financed through its green bond, he added.
“We have engaged SBI asking them not to participate (in the loan) and now we are waiting for their answer”, he was quoted as saying.
Amundi, which holds the bond in its Amundi Planet Emerging Green One fund, said it had learnt this week that SBI was considering financing the Carmichael thermal coal mine in Australia.
The Adani Carmichael project has been opposed by climate activists due to the issue of carbon emissions.
Reports said the move from Amundi demonstrates that some financial institutions understand the serious reputational risks associated with supporting a new thermal coal project like Adani’s mega mine, especially in the middle of a global pandemic and intensifying climate disasters.
Amundi is Europe’s largest asset manager and ranks in the top 10 globally. It manages assets worth 1,650 billion euros.
Responsible investment has been the starting point in Amundi’s investment policy. When it was created in 2010, Amundi made social and environmental responsibility one of its four founding pillars. It was one of the founding signatories of the Principles for Responsible Investment.