Issue #010 Published: 30-11-2016 // Written by: Georgia Walker

the ING bank and the violation of human rights

The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is a proposed 1,172-mile long pipeline beginning in the Bakken fields of North Dakota and transporting fracked oil to Illinois. ING, a bank that recently claimed to be ‘recognised as a world leader for corporate action on climate change,’ is one of the 17 banks directly funding the pipeline.

Climate science has made it very clear that we should be investing in renewable energy rather than maximising the amounts of fossil fuels we extract and burn. Besides the catastrophic damage this would do to the environment, the construction of this pipeline constitutes a treaty crime against the Standing Rock Sioux according to the Fort Laramie Treaties of 1851 and 1868. This pipeline threatens sacred tribal sites, some of which have already been desecrated, as well as the quality of the water and air in multiple states. The pipeline would contaminate the drinking water of the Standing Rock Reservation and a further 18 million residents downstream. 

The funding of this pipeline is not only completely at odds with ING’s branding as a climate-friendly corporation, it also supports the violation of human rights. The heavily militarised police response to unarmed, nonviolent water protectors has included attack dogs, sound-cannon trucks, heavily armed officers, mace attacks, beanbag rounds and most recently, water cannons in below freezing temperatures. This has resulted in instances of hypothermia, head trauma and cardiac arrest.

ING published a press release on the 2nd of November addressing some of the concerns. 
Many questions remain:
1) How is this investment ‘in line with ING’s policy’ when it so clearly goes against environmental progress and human rights?
2) Does ING know exactly how their funds are being spent and is any of the money supporting the heavily militarised DAPL security and police force?
3) Who is the ‘external independent consultant’ and why has there been no update since the beginning of November?
4) Are they sure that the project ‘complies with the law’? Construction continues even though no easement has been granted by the US Army Corps of Engineers to drill under the river until further notice.

The largest bank in Norway, DNB, have already sold their assets in DAPL after receiving a petition with 120,000 signatures.

ING, one of the most widely-used banks in the Netherlands, has failed in its commitment to sustainable and ethical banking. We urge all ING customers to join us at 18:00 at the ING corporate headquarters on December the 1st and collectively reject the notion of our money being used to support environmental destruction and the violation of human rights. 

We urge ING to give up their financial stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline and will collectively end business with the corporation on December the 1st.

More info:

Photo: Ryan Vizzions (Redhawk)