Major European banks vow to halt finance for Amazon oil trade

Several European lenders have vowed to cut financing immediately for crude oil trade transactions in Ecuadorian parts of the Amazon rainforest, environmental campaigners have revealed. Campaign groups Stand.earth and Amazon Watch say in a new report that BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and ING have confirmed in writing that no new transactions will be accepted that involve the sale of such oil. The trio were previously responsible for financing sales of Amazon oil to buyers in the US worth a total of US$5.5bn since 2009, equivalent to more than 50% of all financing provided for such trade, the report says. The announcement follows an investigation last year into 19 lenders, which found that BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse, ING, Rabobank, UBS and Natixis together had facilitated 85% of all bank-financed trade linked to Amazon oil “despite having policies on advancing human rights, sustainability, and climate change”. Credit Suisse told Stand.earth in late December it had reviewed its exposure to oil trading linked to the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon and would “phase out trade finance services for the export of such crude oil”. BNP Paribas said the same month it would stop seaborne oil exports from Esmeraldas in northern Ecuador, while ING vowed… continue reading

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