ING bank NL's biggest financier of gas-, plastic companies: report

Plastic pollution
Plastic pollution. (Photo: ead72/DepositPhotos )

Since 2010 Dutch banks and insurers provided around 7.9 billion euros in financing to large shale gas and plastic companies, according to research by the Fair Banking and Insurance Guide. ING was the largest Dutch financier for these companies, investing 3.5 billion euros into them, NU.nl reports.

Rabobank finances one plastic company, but no shale gas companies. Triodos, Volkskbank, and NIBC made no money available for large plastic or shale gas companies. Among the insurers, Aegon and Alliance are the largest investors, together pushing nearly 3.2 billion euros into shale gas and plastic companies.

In a response, ING told broadcaster NOS that it deliberately chose to invest in companies active in gas extraction. "ING no longer finances coal-fired power stations. Gas generation plays an important role in the energy transition because, for example, it enables the United States to close coal-fired power stations." Gas power station are relatively more environmentally friendly than coal power stations.

In 2017 the world produced nearly 350 million tons of plastic, according to NU.nl. If the plastic production continues to grow at its current pace, in 2050 plastics will make up 15 percent of the CO2 emissions that fit within the climate limits. In that year the sea will also contain more plastic than fish, according to current estimates.  

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