Big Banks are Funding Climate Disasters and Human Rights Abuses
Big Banks are Funding Climate Disasters and Human Rights Abuses.
I am sharing this story with Medium in the hopes to increase awareness, and give “We The People” the power to make an informed decision:
Nearly 100 of the world’s largest Banks have signed the Equator Principles — A set of rules guiding which big infrastructure projects banks will and won’t finance. One of the principles is a commitment to avoid or minimize environmental and climate impacts, and to respect the rights of Indigenous communities when investing.
Despite more than 70 of the banks signing the Equator Principles in 2013, they haven’t kept their word.
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The track record of these big banks isn’t good, and includes clear assaults on Indigenous peoples and the environment such as:
The Dakota Access Pipeline, which was financed by banks that signed on to the Equator Principles, even though it was built to pump tar sands, the dirtiest oil on earth, and was fiercely opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Lakota Tribes for threatening their water sources and ancestral lands.
The Honduran Agua Zarca hydro project, which was set to be financed by the Dutch development bank FMO and Finnish Finnfund, who refused to acknowledge the right of Indigenous groups to withhold their consent to the project. The Lenca people depend on the Gualcarque River, where the project was planned to be built for subsistence and resisted the project. Only after the murder of Indigenous activists opposing the project, Tomas Garcia and Berta Cáceres, was the project suspended.
Three countries Not highlighted in this petition are Somalia, Senegal and Bodo, Nigeria. These countries are rich in Old Reserves, but with corrupt Government Leaders all three have polluted nearby water wells and irresponsible oil spills affecting Crops and Drinking Water!
What good are these Equator Principles when they’re ignored, and these banks finance disaster projects anyway?
Big banks need to strengthen the Equator Principles so that they reflect at minimum two solid commitments:
- To stop financing climate disasters and
- To respect Indigenous peoples’ rights and territories.