ING, STOP FUNDING FOSSIL FUELS 

 

The climate crisis is here and now. It is unacceptable that our money goes to fossil fuel companies. ING Bank must stop funding oil, coal and gas projects immediately.

 

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We call on ING bank and its CEO Steven van Rijswijk to:

  1. Stop funding oil, coal and gas
  2. Enable a liveable and just world

 

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ING: Stop financing the climate crisis!

We call on ING Bank to stop pumping our money into oil, coal and gas. It is unacceptable that they are still financing fossil fuel companies.

Enable a livable, just world with ING's billions. Immediately turn off the money tap to fossil fuels!

Ask ING's CEO Steven van Rijswijk to stop financing the fossil fuel industry 👇


The war in Ukraine has been a wake-up call. Our dependence on coal, oil and gas is not only causing the climate crisis, but is also enabling authoritarian regimes. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past. More oil and gas from Europe or other continents is not a safe or sustainable solution.

To keep a livable world within reach we need to stop using fossil fuels. It is unacceptable that cash is still going from banks and pension funds into new fossil fuel projects.

ING Bank recently decided to stop directly financing new fossil fuel projects, but it continues to support companies that want to extract even more oil and gas. They are also continuing to finance new fossil infrastructure such as pipelines.

It's time for a rapid transition. For this, we need the billions from financial institutions to fund equitable climate solutions. A large bank like ING can play an important role here.

We therefore demand the following from ING and CEO Steven van Rijswijk:

  1. Immediately stop financing and facilitating fossil fuel companies and projects;
  2. Enable a livable, just world;
      • Align all funding with the 1.5 degree goal from the Paris Climate Agreement;
      • Finance fair solutions for the climate.

Ask ING's CEO Steven van Rijswijk to stop financing the fossil fuel industry 👇

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Why ING must quit fossil fuels

The war in Ukraine is a wake-up call. Our dependence on coal, oil and gas is not only causing a climate crisis but also lining the war chests of authoritarian regimes. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past: oil and gas from other continents is not a safe or sustainable solution. We must commit to a rapid and equitable transition to renewable energy now.

Now that the effects of the climate crisis are already becoming visible, there is no time to lose. We must immediately stop new oil, coal and gas projects to avoid an irreversible climate disaster. But fossil fuel companies keep expanding; digging up more coal, pumping more oil and gas. They block effective climate policy with their lobbying and deception.

If we stop the flow of money to fossil fuels now, we can prevent new coal mines, oil drilling and gas pipelines that would chain us to fossil fuels for years to come.

We demand that ING stops funding oil, coal and gas. ING is the largest bank in the Netherlands. Although they have stopped investing in some types of fossil fuel projects, they still put billions of euros into fossil fuel companies – more than any other Dutch bank. Not only is ING the main bank of the Dutch government, it is also an international systemic bank. This means that taxpayers have to bail out ING if it is at risk of going bankrupt. This gives ING an extra responsibility to make sure our country does not go under.

Big banks like ING facilitate the expansion of the fossil fuel industry while profiting from the destruction of our environment. If you take a step back and look at how fossil fuel finance works, you will see that it is not much different from the European colonialism of the past. Big companies like Shell, BP and Total, and banks like ING, get rich through extraction, exploitation and environmental destruction. Communities in countries like Argentina, Mozambique and Bangladesh are on the front line of these fossil fuel projects. They suffer from habitat destruction, human rights violations and the worst effects of climate change, while huge profits flow back into the pockets of shareholders and wealthy CEOs here in the Netherlands and other western countries.

Instead of investing in climate chaos, ING should contribute to a rapid and equitable energy transition to ensure a safe living environment for people worldwide. ING’s billions are necessary for the solutions we need, both for social and economic equality and preventing climate collapse.

People came together en masse to protest pension fund ABP’s fossil fuel investments. United in numerous action groups, they have spoken out for fossil free pensions, and with great success. After the largest pension fund, now it is time for the largest Dutch bank to quit oil and gas. We are increasing the pressure on ING. Throughout the country, we are asking our employers, associations and governments to speak out in favour of stopping ING’s funding of fossil fuel industries.

 

Get involved

Getting a big bank like ING to change its course requires pressure from all sides. That’s why we are building a movement of people like you and me.

Have you signed the petition and are you ready to take the next step? Here’s what you can do 👇

 

Join an online meet-up

Every first Tuesday of the month at 8pm, we host an online meet-up. We listen to an inspiring speaker, get to know each other, and make plans. Do you want to come too? Please note that the meet-ups are (mainly) in Dutch.

Sign up

Take action now

Want to get started right away? We have several actions ready for you to put the pressure on ING. Whoever you are and whatever you are good at, your help is needed.

Go to toolkit (Dutch)

 

What kind of projects is ING funding?

Fracking in Australia

ING Bank is funding fossil fuel giant Santos, which wants to frack in Australia. But if it’s up to farmers Sally Hunter and Margaret Fleck, this is not going to happen. They fear fracking will pollute or cause water sources to dry up. The Gomeroi, the original inhabitants, are also fighting the project. Santos is now trying to drive them off their land with court action.

Read more

Gas in Mozambique

Oil giants Total and Eni want to extract gas off the coast of Mozambique. ING is financing these companies. Even before the gas projects started, over 550 families had to be forcibly relocated. “Many are now dependent on food aid,”says Ilham Rawoot of climate organisation Justiça Ambiental. What’s more, activists and journalists who speak out against the gas projects are arrested.

Read more

LNG terminals in the US

On the Louisiana coast, one liquid gas terminal after another is springing up, financed with money from ING. As such, more and more wetlands – that protect the residents of Louisiana’s coastline from rising sea levels – are disappearing. And many migratory bird species depend on it too. Moreover, toxic gases are released at the terminals. “This is collective suicide,” says resident and activist James Hiatt.

Read more

This campaign is supported by:

  • BankTrack
  • Greenpeace NL
  • BothEnds
  • Fridays for Future NL
  • Grootouders voor het Klimaat

  • Oxfam Novib
  • Extinction Rebellion NL
  • Eerlijke Geldwijzer
  • DeGoedeZaak
  • Stop Ecocide NL
  • Milieudefensie
  • Urgenda
  • Social Tipping Point Coalition
  • 350.org
  • Scientists4Future NL
  • Questions & Answers

    We are direct and indirect customers of ING. We have our own (savings) account, mortgage or insurance with ING or we are linked to ING through our employers, governments and associations that do business with this bank. And we are very concerned about the climate crisis.

    We are not alone in our concerns. Research carried out by the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank) shows that almost 80% of bank and pension fund customers think it is important that their pensions and savings do not contribute to intensifying the climate crisis.

    Supported by Fossielvrij NL we are campaigning against ING’s financing of fossil fuels projects and companies.

    ING is the largest bank in the Netherlands, with no less than eight million private customers and over 600,000 business customers. It is also the main bank for the Dutch national government. ING is also an international systemic bank, which means that taxpayers have to bail out ING if it is at risk of bankruptcy.

    All banks and financial institutions must do their bit to combat the dangers of climate change, but ING, as the largest bank, has an extra responsibility. Currently, ING is by far the largest financier of oil, gas and coal companies of all Dutch banks. And internationally too, ING is high on the list of the big fossil fuel financiers.

    The immediate end to new oil, coal and gas projects is necessary to prevent an irreversible climate disaster. The International Energy Agency (IEA) warned in 2021 that new fossil fuel projects are not possible if we want to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. Yet ING still puts billions into companies that set up new fossil projects or expand existing ones. These include gas or oil drilling, gas terminals, pipelines for gas and oil, and new coal mines.

    The war in Ukraine is an additional wake-up call. Our dependence on coal, oil and gas is not only causing a climate crisis, but also feeds the war chests of authoritarian regimes. We must not repeat the mistakes of the past: more oil and gas from other continents is not a safe or sustainable solution. We must aim for a rapid, equitable transition to renewable energy now. And we need the billions from ING for this.

    According to research by Banktrack, ING finances fossil fuel companies and projects with an annual average of more than 9 billion euros. In 2021, this was close to 11 billion.

    ING offers general financing to fossil fuel companies as well as project financing. It also helps companies obtain financing from other banks or pension funds. All these forms of financing and services ensure that new fossil fuel projects are established, new infrastructure is built and companies can continue to pump, trade and sell coal, oil and gas.

    Although ING recently ceased direct project financing for new gas and oil drilling projects, it is still making general finance available to the companies carrying out such projects. The bank also continues to provide project finance for new fossil fuel infrastructure such as pipelines or LNG terminals.

    ING is popping up in all sorts of lists that no self-respecting bank would want to find themselves in. ING, for example, is on the Putin 100 list, which lists the banks providing the most finance to Russian fossil fuel companies, thus fuelling Putin’s war.

    ING is also one of the banks that has provided the most funding and services to new fossil fuel projects in Africain recent years. These new oil and gas projects do not bring African countries the prosperity that is often promised; they primarily serve the interests of the international fossil fuel industry instead. The financial sector reaps the profits, while the consequences of these projects are often serious: environmental damage, mounting debts and corruption. It also ties African countries to polluting fuels for decades – also known as fossil fuel lock-in – at a time when investment is needed in renewable energy and other sustainable solutions.

    ING is also funding the Norwegian company Var Engi, which is drilling in the Arctic region. Six young climate activists have started a lawsuit against these drillings at the European Court of Human Rights.

    We demand the following from ING:

    1. Stop financing fossil fuel companies and projects immediately;
    2. Make a liveable and just world possible;
      • Bring all financing in line with the 1.5 degrees goal of the Paris climate agreement;
      • Finance climate-equitable solutions.

    Find a further explanation of our demands here.

    ING finances fossil fuel companies that set up new fossil fuel projects, such as pipelines, LNG gas terminals and fracking. If there is not enough money for such a project, it simply will not get off the ground.

    At the same time, renewable energy projects need money to get started. When ING decides to finance green projects instead of fossil fuel ones, the energy transition receives a boost. This is precisely why the Paris climate agreement states that investments must be redirected from fossil fuels into renewables.

    ING is a major bank, also highly regarded internationally. If ING brings its financing policies in line with what is needed for climate justice, other banks will certainly follow ING’s example.

    Your savings are not at risk if ING stops financing fossil fuel companies. Banks such as ASN and Triodos have shown that it is perfectly possible to exclude the fossil fuel industry without any negative consequences.

    ING is actually taking a big financial risk by continuing to finance fossil fuel projects. We know that coal, oil and gas must remain in the ground to prevent climate catastrophe. There is simply no room for new fossil fuel projects. Therefore, it is risky to continue financing fossil fuels, because there is a risk that loans cannot be paid back.

    The Dutch Central Bank puts it this way: “As a result of climate policy, technological developments and changing consumer preferences, loans to companies that emit a lot of CO2 or other greenhouse gases may lose their worth quicker than expected.”

    Yes, as an individual you can switch to a Dutch ‘green’ bank like Triodos or ASN. It is very easy to do so using the banks’ transfer service (‘overstapservice’), and we definitely recommend you do so!

    But ING also has many business customers. These include the Dutch national government, municipalities, associations and charities. So our money often ends up at ING after all.

    Large companies, organisations and governments sometimes cannot switch because sustainable banks such as ASN and Triodos do not provide the services they need. Since they cannot leave, they have a responsibility to speak out against ING’s policy.

    Yes, ING claims to be green, as do almost all banks, insurers and pension funds. For example, ING says it is committed to the Paris climate agreement and has signed up to the Net Zero Banking Alliance.

    But it is important to look at what a bank does in practice, in addition to what it claims to do. It is also important to read the small print. And that paints a much less rosy picture.

    For example, ING has targeted companies that pump oil and gas, but not for companies that build pipelines. For example, ING is financing US company KinderMorgan, which wants to build new pipelines for gas and oil extracted from fracking. Fracking is one of the most damaging ways of extracting oil and gas. By pumping water and chemicals into the ground, oil and gas comes to the surface. Fracking often leads to methane leaks and pollution of the water supply. Local groups in the US have been campaigning for years against the new pipelines, which can still be financed by them even under ING’s new policy.

    ING also says it will no longer finance the expansion of coal mines, but, for example, still finances the Swiss company Glencore. This company wants to start new coal mines as well as expand existing ones. This company is also partly responsible for dangerous conditions in cobalt mines, about which journalist Twan Huys made a shocking documentary last year.

    This policy tracker shows how ING’s oil and gas policy falls short. Also read this blog by BankTrack for a critical analysis of ING’s policy.

    In short, ING may say it is green, but the reality is very different.

    ING has recently decided to stop directly funding new fossil fuel projects – and that is a good step forward – but it is still funding companies that want to drill for more oil and gas. ING keeps providing corporate loans to these companies, and also helps them to secure financing from other financial institutions (underwriting). The bank also continues to finance new fossil fuel infrastructure such as pipelines.

    We call on ING to exclude fossil fuel companies that continue to set up new fossil fuel projects. Only then will ING ensure that its customers’ savings no longer finance the climate crisis.

    Yes, there are many banks worldwide that exclude the fossil fuel industry. For example, here in the Netherlands the ASN bank and Triodos, or the French La Banque Postale. Also the European Investment Bank (EIB) decided in 2019 to stop financing new fossil fuel projects after pressure from citizens.

    We are part of a large movement: all over the world, citizens are putting more and more pressure on financial institutions, because we need the ‘big money’ for a just world.

    We desperately need ING’s billions to finance just climate solutions. It is important that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past, with large multinationals making profits at the expense of ordinary people. Renewable energy must be in the hands of communities and accessible to all.

    1. Sign and share the petition. Make sure to sign up for email updates so we can keep you informed about how to take action.
    2. Come to a ‘meet-up’ to meet others and make plans together. Please note that most meet-ups are in Dutch!
    3. Take action now (page in Dutch). Whoever you are and whatever you are good at, your help is needed! We have actions ready for you to get started right away.

    We handle your data with care. We will not put the names of people who sign the petition online.

    If you have indicated that you wish to receive email updates, we will keep you informed about the campaign and let you know how you can take action. We believe it is necessary to increase the pressure on ING and we need your help.

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    NEWS

    “From fisherman to refugee, in part thanks to ING”

    Ilham Rawoot works for climate organisation Justiça Ambiental/ Friends of the Earth Mozambique. She shares with us why ING’s financing of companies that extract gas are so harmful for Mozambique. ‘You need to divest from fossil fuel companies because that’s the only way they are going to change.’

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