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Big banks financing environmental disasters – Editor

The New Economy Coalition has drawn our attention to a meeting held in late October of more than 90 of the world’s largest banks in Brazil to recommit to the Equator Principles, a set of rules guiding which big infrastructure projects they will and won’t finance.

“Equator banks” have promised to avoid or minimize the social, environmental and climate impacts of such projects, and to respect the rights and interests of Indigenous communities affected by them. But they haven’t kept their word: The Dakota Access Pipeline was financed by banks 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.

The Honduran based Agua Zarca hydro project, where Indigenous leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for leading indigenous resistance to the project, also passed the ‘Equator test’ of FMO bank as a project supposedly respect- ing the rights of the Lenca communities.

These are just two examples of projects financed by banks under the Equator Principles that are resisted by indigenous communities.

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