Friends of the Earth Switzerland and Norway today handed in 100,000 signatures to the Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse at their headquarters in Zurich, demanding they stop financing a disastrous mining project in Norway.
Credit Suisse is facilitating financing for three companies that are dumping – or plan to dump – more than 810 million tonnes of toxic mining waste in a beautiful Norwegian fjord, as well as waters off the coast of Papua New Guinea and Turkey.
Silje Ask Lundberg, leader of Naturvernforbundet/Friends of the Earth Norway "By investing in the mining company Nussir, Credit Suisse is contributing to one of the biggest environmental scandals in the history of Norway. Nussir is planning to dump 30 million tonnes of mining waste into Repparfjord, a national salmon fjord. This will exterminate all life at the seabed, in addition to harming important fish populations. Credit Suisse now has an opportunity to contribute to end this dreadful practice, by withdrawing their investments from companies that exercise it."
Mining tailings contain a chemical cocktail which can include mercury, arsenic, lead and more than three dozen other chemicals, does not dissolve in water, suffocating aquatic life and poisoning the water where local people fish and swim.
The hand-in was organised by Naturvernforbundet/Friends of the Earth Norway, SumOfUs, Earthworks, Pro Natura/Friends of the Earth Switzerland and Campax.
Indigenous peoples such as the Sami in Norway will suffer the worst effects of funding these mining projects.
Despite these disastrous consequences and the fact that one of its main competitors, Citigroup, has already abandoned the ocean dumping, Credit Suisse continues to support these mining companies and refuses to change its responsible investment policy. Credit Suisse's profits from this irreversible destruction are appalling for a bank that prides itself on having a "lasting positive impact".