The Rabobank will not lend money to companies involved in shale gas extraction, the cooperative bank told Trouw on Monday.
Nor will it make loans to farmers who rent their land to shale gas extraction companies.
The bank’s global policy is not to be involved with extracting fossil fuels where it is not clear what the risks and consequences may be, a spokesman told the paper.
Shale gas is natural gas trapped in dense shale beds. It is extracted using a controversial process known as fracking, which involves drilling a deep hole through the shale and pumping in water mixed with sand and chemicals.
Research into fracking in the Netherlands is currently being carried out by the economic affairs ministry. The results are expected in July.
Around 170 of the 400 councils in the country are thought to be sitting on reserves of shale or coal gas.
However, opposition to drilling is growing. A number of local councils, water boards and even brewing groups like Heineken have come out against the production of shale gas because of the risk of pollution.
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