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16 Nov 2017

Netherlands: National Contact Point issues first ever final statement in case related to climate change; specifies responsibilities of ING & other banks

On 14 November 2017, the Dutch National Contact Point (NCP) accepted the OECD guidelines complaint brought by Greenpeace Netherlands, Oxfam Novib, BankTrack and Milieudefensie, in relation to ING's investments in fossil fuels. 

This is the first time an NCP has accepted a complaint relating to climate change. Greenpeace notes this could be a landmark decision paving a new route to holding corporations accountable for their impact on the climate.

The NCP has commenced an initial investigation regarding the alleged lack of planning to report or reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from its operation. Initial NCP assessment only available in Dutch, English to follow shortly. 

In December 2017, ING published its decision to almost completely phase out their investments in the coal industry by the year 2025. ING also stated that it would refrain from investing in new coal-fired power stations.

On 19 April 2019, the Dutch NCP issued its final statement, demanding that ING Bank sets concrete climate goals for its financial services that are in line with the Paris Climate Agreement. While the statement does not establish whether or not the ING violated the OECD Guidelines in 2017, the organisations that lodged the complaint are pleased that the OECD NCP - for the first time - has taken a clear position on climate goals, and that ING has now agreed to bring its portfolio in line with the Paris Agreement.