mBank fails to understand the core of the problem: money is not marked. While the PLN 1 billion obtained by Enea from the bond issue will be used to refinance its debt, the company will use its profits and own funds for the construction of Ostrołęka C and other harmful projects.
In its statement of 26 June 2019, mBank claims that it does not financially support the construction of Ostrołęka C coal-fired power plant, and that its existing relations with customers in the energy sector are to focus, among other things, on financing projects aimed at reducing the share of electricity generated from coal. Meanwhile, Enea clearly sees its future and growth in the opening of new coal mines and coal-fired power plants. Servicing bond issue will significantly improve the overall financial standing of the company make it easier to complete and continue these harmful projects. Enea will easily allocate its own funds, which it will no longer have to use to repay its debt, to its priority activities, such as the construction of the Ostrołęka C power plant. The case of Enea is a stark example of the difference between the withdrawal of financing for single coal projects and the complete termination of relations with companies that do not intend to stop fueling the climate crisis.
Enea does not have an energy transformation plan and climate strategy which should completely disqualify it from being a partner in any financial relations with modern, socially responsible institutions. Enea's dependence on coal can continue thanks to the coal co-dependence of other entities, such as banks.
Enea is developing a number of projects that have a negative impact on climate, health and natural resources.
ING Bank Śląski was also supposed to participate in the bond issue for Enea under the 2014 agreement, but after the adoption of a new strategy excluding support for coal, it withdrew from this issue. There was no hindrance to mBank’s withdrawal as well. However, it chose short-term profit over and above the long-term security of its customers.
There is no better time for mBank to completely eliminate support for companies such as Enea, as BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole or ING BŚ have already done so. mBank states that fossil fuel-based power generation has never been its crucial focus and accounts for only 1 per cent of its loan portfolio. This summer, young people and adults around the world are demanding rapid, concrete action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and cities in Europe and around the world are struggling with murderous heat waves that are just a foretaste of the disaster ahead.
- says Kuba Gogolewski, financial campaign from the Foundation "Development of YES - Discoveries NO".
mBank’s parent company - Commerzbank - excludes financing of new mines and coal-fired power plants. Commerzbank also expects its German clients from the energy supply sector to limit the share of electricity generated from coal (based on their production performance) to below 30 per cent by the end of 2021. A corresponding cap of 50 per cent is expected for clients based outside Germany.
We have been in dialogue with mBank for 2 years now. Our proposal for the bank is very specific and not new. We demand that mBank aligned its climate policy with Commerzbank’s criteria. In this way, it gives the energy companies an ultimatum: either you change or you do not use our services. Enea produces most of its energy from, is expanding its coal fleet with Ostrołęka C and has no decarbonisation strategy. mBank enables the company to raise a PLN billion and does not give it any incentive for transformation. This has to change as soon as possible.
- comments Diana Maciąga, climate coordinator from the Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich istot (Workshop for All Beings) Association.
Diana Maciąga, Association Workshop for All Beings, e-mail: email@example.com
Kuba Gogolewski, "Development YES - Discoveries NO" Foundation, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Actions taken so far as part of the dialogue between social organizations and mBank: