This huge pipeline project is supposed to transport oil across the United States with the aim of reducing the costs for delivering large oil reserves to the markets and thus creating incentives for using fossil fuels. In total, it would lock in the emissions of about 30 coal power plants!
The pipeline also heavily interferes with the rights of Native Americans, as it is built very close to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation, crossing the Missouri river, which is the tribe’s primary source of water.
After heavy protests by a large coalition of Native Americans, civil society and politicians, former US President Obama halted the project in 2016. This huge success, however, was revoked shortly after when President Trump, on his fourth day in office, revived the building of the pipeline via an executive order. So, we have to fight again! This project is dangerous, rear-facing and a harsh attack on the climate goals set out in the Paris agreement.
And we can also become active in Europe! Nine European banks from six different countries directly fund the Dakota Access Pipeline, with many more funding the whole network that this pipeline is supposed to be part of. We, as European Greens, demand that these banks divest their capital from this devastating project, which is a threat to both environmental and tribal rights.
This is why prominent Greens from these respective countries have sent a letter to the bank in their country funding the project, demanding they withdraw their investment in the Dakota Access Pipeline.
And the movement has been successful already: the German regional bank BayernLB announced on 23 February that it will back out of their investments from the pipeline as soon as possible following a wave of protest. And on 21 March, the Dutch bank ING did the same – what a success! But seven European banks still remain: BNP, Societe Generale, Credit Agricole and Natixis from France; BBVA from Spain; ICBC from the UK and Intesa from Italy.
If you want to contact them and tell them what you think of their investment policies, you can find the contact details here. You can also “Join the Pledge of Resistance” and sign a petition against the Dakota Access Pipeline here. Let’s act against a fossil future: divest from the Dakota Pipeline!