Jolanda van Santen, Oxfam Novib, email@example.com, 06-22388699
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ING has stopped financing a new coal-fired power plant in the Dominican Republic, the bank informed the Dutch Fair Bank Guide today. The Fair Bank Guide welcomes ING's decision. The Fair Bank Guide, in collaboration with BankTrack and Greenpeace, has been calling ING for years to stop financing two new coal-fired plants, Punta Catalina and Cirebon in Indonesia.
ING sold its stake in the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant on 13 July. With this decision, the bank wants to give further substance to the tightening of its coal policy in December 2017.
The construction of the new coal-fired power station in the Dominican Republic is surrounded by corruption scandals. The local population and local community organizations have been protesting for years against its construction, due to concerns about corruption and climate change. Critical questions were asked in the Dutch parliament at the end of last year about ING's financing of the Punta Catalina coal-fired power plant.
Peter Ras, project manager for the Fair Bank Guide, said: "ING's decision not to grant any further funding to the new coal-fired power station in the Dominican Republic is good news. The Fair Bank Guide finds it very important that banks stop all investments in coal companies. And reduce their financing for fossil energy companies in favour of financing sustainable energy. We hope that ING will also discontinue its financing of the new coal-fired power station in Indonesia, where the local population is also seriously concerned for its health and climate impacts."
Research by the Fair Bank Guide in November 2015 showed that ING invested eight times more in fossil energy companies than in sustainable energy companies. Of its loans to energy companies in the period 2009 - 2014, 89% went to the fossil energy sector. In total, during this period ING financed US$ 24.5 billion in fossil energy companies and energy generation, including coal companies. In contrast, the bank’s financed to renewable energy companies in the same period amounted to only only US$ 2.9 billion. ING has since tightened its policy towards the coal sector, and the Fair Bank Guide will publish a new study into banks’ energy sector investments in November 2018.