Dutch Bank ING Says It Won’t Fund Keystone XL
by Diana Best
June 28, 2017
ING is one of the first banks to come out against tar sands pipelines, but we can't let it be the last.
The Dutch bank giant ING just publicly announced that it will not finance oil pipeline projects from the Canadian tar sands, including the Trans Mountain, Keystone XL, Energy East, and Line 3 Expansion pipelines, stating climate, environmental, water, and social impacts among the chief justifications for their overall policy.
The latest action by the bank comes as a response to a letter sent by twenty Indigenous and environmental groups, including Greenpeace, asking the bank to refrain from financing Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline earlier this month. The letter highlighted the proposed pipeline’s detrimental impact on the climate and its violations of Indigenous rights.
Why is this important?
Major international investment banks like ING committing to not finance tar sands pipelines shows the writing on the wall- these projects are risky, both reputationally and financially. Banks appear increasingly less likely to want to take that risk at the cost of upsetting shareholders, potentially losing massive amounts of money on delays and setbacks, undermining their commitments to climate and Indigenous rights, and the increasing social blowback for involvement, investment, and/or endorsement of these controversial projects.
ING previously contributed $137 million to one *credit line* to Kinder Morgan, the parent company of the Trans Mountain pipeline, and has underwritten millions in bonds. The bank’s updated policy indicates that its prior prohibition of investments in “transactions directly linked to mining, exploration and upgrading of oil sands” has been extended to include pipelines, specifically naming Trans Mountain, Keystone XL, Energy East, and Line 3 Expansion. In March, ING pulled its $120 million loan stake from the Dakota Access Pipeline after meeting with members of the Standing Rock Sioux
(*not sure what a credit line is? Read Fossil Fuel Financing 101).
What comes next?
This commitment from ING is certainly a step in the right direction and we must encourage other banks to follow their lead by making similar commitments to not finance these pipelines.
JPMorgan Chase is one of the key financiers of all four tar sands pipelines. JPMorgan Chase participates in 11 of the 18 current lines of credit that banks have provided to three pipeline companies proposing to build four pipelines to transport tar sands to refineries and markets. In particular, JPMorgan Chase have provided capital for 4 loans to Enbridge, 4 loans to TransCanada, and 3 loans to Kinder Morgan.
What you can do about it.
During the Summer of Resistance, we will be putting the banking giant, JPMorgan Chase, on notice. We are asking supporters all over the country to head down to local Chase banks and demand that the bank Defund Tar Sands Pipelines.
We are excited to launch this work and up the pressure on JPMorgan Chase. At this point in the campaign, we believe that public pressure and peaceful demonstrations are critical to moving the bank away from financially backing these projects.The bank needs to hear from you!
Stopping these pipelines once and for all will take all of us- from those resisting on the ground, to people showing up in hearing rooms to publicly testify, to demanding banks discontinue their financing of these disastrous projects. Together we are unstoppable!