Dutch banking group ING invests most in polluting coal, oil and gas

Logo of the ING bank in Hoogeveen, NetherlandsDutch banks and insurance companies have invested a minimum of almost $30bn in mining, oil and gas, and generating energy from fossil fuels over the past five years, according to a new report.

The Eerlijke Bankwijzer, which compares banks’ performance in areas such as the environment and human rights, says ING is the ‘worst’ offender. Not only has ING invested far more than the other banks in environment-unfriendly energy sources, but 89% of its energy sector investments have gone on oil, coal and gas.

Of the total investments of $30bn, ING is responsible for $25bn, the report says. By contrast, it has invested just $2.8bn in companies which are working on sustainable energy production.

Rabobank, the report says, invests some $1.9bn in both fossil fuels and renewables and has cut its investment in non-sustainable energy by 21 percentage points over the past few years.

And of the total Dutch bank investment in energy, the share of renewables has gone up from 1% to 5%.

‘There was a considerable rise in sustainable investments in 2014,’ the report states. ‘Nevertheless, these investments do not go far enough to tackle climate change. Investors need to take responsibility and speed up the transition to sustainable, climate-friendly energy provision.’

Earlier this week, the 11 big Dutch banks issued a joint statement calling for better information from companies on just how much CO2 they emit, so they can adjust their investment policy accordingly.

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