INSIGHT by investESG

During a press conference on Friday, Friends of the Earth Netherlands, known for their historic victory against the oil company Shell in the first court ruling targeting planet-warming emissions, revealed plans to take legal action against ING, the country’s largest bank.

The objective is to compel the bank to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by half by 2030 and cease its collaboration with fossil fuel companies.

Donald Pols, director of Friends of the Earth Netherlands, pointed out, “The bank finances oil and gas companies, deforestation, and heavy industry, all contributing to the climate crisis. Whether you are drilling for oil or funding the drill, both scenarios entail contributing to and bearing responsibility for the current climate crisis we are facing.”

ING has responded by expressing confidence in their ability to take meaningful action in the fight against climate change:

“As society transitions to a low-carbon economy, about 80% of energy used globally today is still fossil-fuel based. So even though we finance a lot of sustainable activities, we reflect the global economy and still finance more that’s not sustainable.

We aim to play our part in the social and low-carbon transformation that’s necessary to achieve a sustainable future, steering the most carbon-intensive parts of our portfolio towards reaching net zero by 2050.

Our approach is based on science and we adapt it as the (insights based on) science evolve. For example, we announced in December 2023 that we will phase out the financing of upstream oil and gas activities by 2040 and aim to triple new financing of renewable power generation to €7.5 billion annually by 2025, up from €2.5 billion in 2022, following the agreements made at COP28 and the latest scenarios from the International Energy Association (IEA).”


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Time to pay the piper: fossil fuel companies’ reparations for climate damages


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