ING will immediately stop financing the search for and exploitation of new oil and natural gas fields. The bank also wants to invest more money in developing renewable energy provided by wind farms or solar panels, for example. In just under three years, ING intends to increase the funding of these projects by half, the bank announced. In doing so, the bank says it will contribute to achieving the Paris climate goals.
ING is not leaving the fossil energy sector altogether. The financial group still provides credit for oil and gas pipelines, for example, to secure the energy supply. The bank will also continue to finance work in existing oil and gas fields.
According to ING’s head of business ethics, Arnaud Cohen Stuart, the bank is following the International Energy Agency (IEA) recommendations with the announced steps. The IEA warned last year that no new oil and gas fields could be mined if global warming is to be limited to 1.5 degrees. But if the development of existing oil and gas projects is halted completely, the production of those fuels will drop too quickly, Cohen Stuart said.
ING has a portfolio of 3.5 billion euros in funding the upstream activities of companies in the fossil fuel industry. That involves searching for and mining oil and gas, among other things. The bank wants this loan book to be at least 12 percent smaller in 2025 than 2019. In 2040, the portfolio must be more than half smaller than in 2019.
At the same time, ING is increasing its renewable energy funding by a tenth every year compared to 2021. This may concern loans that end up in its own portfolio, but that does not have to be the case. The bank now has 7.3 billion euros in loans and investments in things like solar energy or wind energy.