On a High Note: ING Stops Funding New Oil & Gas Projects

On a High Note: ING Bank Stops Funding New Oil & Gas Projects

Dutch bank ING is now the biggest financial institution to end its funding of new oil and gas projects. The bank intends to follow the "narrow but achievable” pathway to reach net zero by 2050, as laid out by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Since emissions have hit an all-time, historic high, the IEA’s plan calls for no new "investments in new oil, gas and coal projects."

According to ING’s global head of energy, Michael de Haan, the bank will remain invested in energy firms but gradually shift funding away from the fossil fuel industry toward renewables. Renewable energy is experiencing record growth, with investment rising by 27% in 2021, hitting $755 billion. Projections show that by 2026, renewables will account for 95% of the increase in global power capacity. Still, petroleum and gas remain the most consumed energy sources in the US. De Haan told Reuters that the aim is for a 50% increase (from 2021’s $8.05 billion) in lending for renewables by 2025.

While some argue ING isn’t being aggressive enough with its actions, de Haan told Reuters, "It's important to recognize that the IEA also indicates that in the future, oil and gas will be needed." IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol, a proponent for fossil fuel divestment and a timely transition to clean energy, has also advocated for an orderly move away from fossil fuels to avoid volatility in global energy markets.

What is certain is that ING’s move is sure to add pressure on other large financial institutions to make similar climate commitments.

IEA: A 10-Point Plan to Cut Oil Use, March 18, 2022.

GMIS: The IEA's Roadmap to Net-Zero by 2050, July 25, 2021.

NBC: Are Major Companies Living Up To Their Net-Zero Pledges To Combat Climate Change?, February 10, 2022.

Our Eden: Your Bank is Funding Climate Change, November 13, 2021.