Deutsche Bank: Shareholder Statements as of May 10, 2022

2022 Annual General Meeting

Shareholder statements

The English shareholder statements currently submitted to us are set out below.

The German statements submitted to us can be viewed on our German website page at

Statements are the opinions of the authors as notified to us. In addition, we have published assertions of fact without modifying or verifying them.

It should be noted that questions, counter-proposals and electoral nomination proposals must be submitted only through the channels described in the agenda and, therefore, questions, counter-proposals and nominations for election contained in published statements will not be considered.


1. Declaration of the Dachverband der Kritischen Aktionärinnen und Aktionäre acting on behalf of shareholder Stiftung Nord-Süd-Brücken

Statement on Deutsche Bank financing for new coal production

Deutsche Bank says it supports the goals of the Paris Agreement and achieve net zero global emissions by 2050.

The bank is a signatory of the Paris Commitment to Actionthe German financial sector Climate Commitment and the Net Zero Banking Alliance [1]. CEO Christian Sewing has also publicly stated, “Combating climate change is probably the biggest challenge facing humanity, and we banks will need to fundamentally align with it. [2]

Deutsche Bank’s claims must be measured against what scientific and economic expert bodies believe is necessary to limit global warming to 1.5°C and achieve net zero global emissions by 2050. Numerous publications have highlighted that achieving these goals means ceasing everything coal expansions (including greenfield and brownfield projects) and the rapid elimination of existing coal supply.

In May 2021, the International Energy Agency (IEA) provided its landmark roadmap for reaching net zero by 2050, stating that under this scenario, “no new coal mines or expansions of existing ones n is needed in the [scenario] as coal demand precipitously declines” [3]. Under the IEA scenario, unabated coal supply drops 55% by 2030 and 90% by 2050 (total global energy supply from 2019 levels) [4].

This year, the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has again underlined the need for an urgent and dramatic decline in coal supply. According to its models aligned at 1.5°C with little or no overshoot, coal use drops 75% by 2030 and 95% by 2050 (compared to 2019 levels) [5]. This is consistent with other major studies, which have concluded that limiting global warming to 1.5°C means that 95% of Australia’s coal reserves must remain unburned. [6]and the supply of coal must fall by 11% each year between 2020 and 2030 [7].

Unfortunately, Deutsche Bank is falling well short of the need for deep and urgent coal production cuts. It compounds the problem further by arranging funding for fossil fuel companies pursuing new coal production.

In July 2020, Deutsche Bank introduced restrictions in its environmental and social (E&S) policy framework, pledging “not to provide financing for new coal mines” and “not to finance related infrastructure coal, whether or not the infrastructure is associated with a new or existing coal mine” [8]. Deutsche Bank’s support of new coal generation is at odds with these commitments – creating a significant reputation, legal and governance problem for the bank.

Whitehaven Coal

Whitehaven is the largest pure play coal mining company on the Australian stock market and one of the most controversial resource companies in the country. Since its initial public offering on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2007, the company has derived 100% of its revenue from the sale of coal. [9].

Whitehaven currently operates four mines in the Australian state of New South Wales. Major of the company operations are the Maules Creek and Narrabri coal mines. Maules Creek Coal Mine is licensed to mine up to the 2050s and Narrabri through 2044 – decades beyond when coal must be phased out.

Whitehaven is pursuing three new or expanded coal mines via the Narrabri expansion, and the new Vickery and Winchester South coal mines. Together, these mines have marketable coal reserves of nearly 500 million tonnes [10].

Over the past decade, Whitehaven has more than doubled its production. At the company’s 2021 Annual General Meeting, Whitehaven’s CEO confirmed that the company could again more than double its coal production by 2030 through these new coal projects. [11].

Using Whitehaven’s own production estimates, it is possible to compare the company’s planned production to sub-1.5ºC coal production and net-zero coal supply scenarios by 2050. Whitehaven’s current plans would imply a doubling of coal production by 2030 and sustained high production until 2040. This contrasts sharply with the IEA’s Net Zero scenario by 2050 and the 1.5° scenario C of the Production Gap Report, which models global coal production declining by more than 50% by 2030 and around 80% by 2040.


Deutsche Bank has participated in Whitehaven’s syndicated credit facilities since 2013, with the most recent refinancing taking place in February 2020 [12]. Whitehaven said it will look to refinance again later this year, which will represent an important test of Deutsche Bank’s claimed support for climate action.

In September 2021, Deutsche Bank reportedly held a “no deal roadshow” event for Whitehaven, and intends to act as bookrunner for any bond issue arising [13]. It has since been reported that Whitehaven could seek to raise up to US$700 million in the bond markets [14].

Arranging financing for Whitehaven would be a breach of Deutsche Bank’s E&S policy framework. Any loan, commitment of bonds or participation in capital market fundraising for Whitehaven would result in direct or indirect financing of the Vickery and Winchester South coal mines proposed by the company. Even if there were a restriction on the use of the funds, a breach of policy would still occur as the funding would free up financial capacity elsewhere within Whitehaven Coal, still allowing it to pursue new coal and gas projects. expansion of mining.

Deutsche Bank’s involvement with Whitehaven Coal during a time of escalating climate change impacts has also poses a significant reputational risk. The reported decision to arrange financing for the company is a clear failure of Deutsche Bank’s processes, particularly that of the relevant regional risk committee. If Deutsche Bank proceeds with the deal, breaching the policy outlined above raises even more reputational, legal and governance issues. concerns that need to be addressed directly by Deutsche Bank’s Board of Directors. Deutsche Bank must exclude any other funding for Whitehaven Coal and other companies planning new coal production.

Adani Enterprises

Funding Adani Enterprises indirectly funds Carmichael Thermal Coal Mine

In 2014, Deutsche Bank was one of the first banks to foreclose funding for the disastrous Adani Carmichael thermal coal project in Australia. More than 100 companies have now made this commitment, including more than 40 major banks [15].

However, Deutsche Bank broke this promise and its policy of not directly or indirectly financing new thermal coal mines through its financing of the Adani Group, and in particular the subsidiary Adani Enterprises, which built, owns and operates the Carmichael mine and railway.

Due to the controversial and destructive nature of the Carmichael Project, Adani was unable to obtain external funding for the project. This means that Adani financed the construction of the Carmichael mine and the railway internally, mainly through intercompany loans. [16]. This method of funding means that any funding from any Adani Group entity frees up capital which could then be paid into Carmichael Coal. That is to say, the financing of any part of the Adani group indirectly finances the

Carmichael mine.

Deutsche Bank did just that. For example, in July 2021, when Adani was building the Carmichael coal mine, Deutsche Bank participated in a US$1 billion bridge loan to Adani Enterprises to cover its purchase of the airport. Mumbai International. [17]. It is also part of a group of banks that were working on issuing bonds for Adani Enterprises, in order to be able to refinance this bridging loan. [18].

Adani Enterprises’ funding is a violation of Deutsche Bank’s specific promise to Carmichael and its coal exclusion policy. To remain faithful to her commitments, she must no longer work for the Adani group.

  • [1] German Bank, Deutsche Bank joins the new Net Zero Banking Alliance (04/21/21); German Bank, How the Paris Climate Agreement changed bank (11/12/20).

  • [2] German Bank, Speech by Christian Sewing at the Handelsblatt Banking Summit 2021 (08/09/21).

  • [3] International Energy Agency, Net zero by 2050 (21/05) p 20.

  • [4] Ibid p 195.

  • [5] Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Sixth Assessment Report – Chapter 3 (11/27/21) Table 3.6.

  • [6] D Welsby et al, Non-extractable fossil fuels in a 1.5°C world, Nature (08/09/21).

  • [7] Sei et al, The 2021 Production Gap Report (2021) page 15.

  • [8] German Bank, Environmental and Social Policy Framework (07/20).

  • [9] Based on Whitehaven Annual Report.

  • [10] Whitehaven Coal, Updating Coal Resources and Coal Reserves (26/08/21) p 3.

  • [11] market forces, Whitehaven Coal AGM 2021 (10/27/21).

  • [12] Based on Refinitiv Eikon research.

  • [13] Debtwire and Whitehaven Coal will launch the online NDR for credit investors next week (9/24/21).

  • [14] P Ker, Whitehaven says Asia will fund coal for decades, Australian Financial Review (08/26/21).

  • [15] Market Forces, The Adani List (2022).

  • [16] C Kruger, Debt, not coal, nets Adani $388m profit, Sydney Morning Herald (July 22, 2021).

  • [17] market forces, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and Standard Chartered break promise and loan coal miner Adani $1 billion (August 19, 2021).

  • [18] B Kalesh and S Ghosh, Adani seeks $1bn in bonds to refinance Mumbai airport debt, Bloomberg (December 22, 2021).

Shawanda H. Saldana