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Banks undermining green rules

Tuesday 27 January 2004

moneyThe banking sector’s environmental guidelines, the Equator Principles, are being undermined by a number of UK and international banks, according to the BankTrack network.

The voluntary Equator Principles were launched in June 2003, and signed by nineteen leading banking groups. The signatories agreed to uphold socially responsible investment and sound environmental management practices. However BankTrack, a collective of NGOs, has highlighted that up to eight of the banks are participating in the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline project (and similar ventures), breaching agreements on at least 127 counts.

Andrea Baranes of CRBM, Italy commented; “EP (Equator Principles) Bank support for BTC has put the very credibility of the Principles at stake; having such ambitions and at the same time allow for these kind of projects to continue makes them virtually meaningless”

Friends of the Earth Finance Campaigner Simon McRae added; "For the Equator Principles to work, banks need to be transparent about how they are financing projects and to allow affected stakeholders such as local communities the right to have a say in whether they are being implemented. The UK banks must take action to make sure these principles operate in practice."

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