European Banks Financing Trade of Amazon Oil to the U.S.

Groundbreaking report exposes a range of European banks have provided $10 billion USD in trade financing for over 155 million barrels of oil from the Ecuadorian region of the Amazon Sacred Headwaters to refineries in the U.S.

Investing in Amazon Crude

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Why in the world would any bank that has policies on advancing human rights, sustainability, and climate change be financing the flow of oil from the Amazon Sacred Headwaters region in Ecuador to US refineries? Makes you wonder if there's a little hypocrisy in play. Our report led by Research Group in partnership with Amazon Watch uncovered some serious findings.

The top six banks out of the 19 assessed in the report, account for financing 85 percent of all bank financed trade – despite having policies on advancing human rights, sustainability, and climate change.

The Amazon Sacred Headwaters spans 30 million hectares (74 million acres) in Ecuador and Peru. It is home to over 500,000 Indigenous peoples from more than 20 nationalities. This is the most biodiverse region in the Amazon basin and likely the entire world and it is under threat from new expansions in oil drilling, mining, and other extractive industries.

The recent oil spill in Ecuador is a prime example of why drilling for oil in the Amazon needs to stop. It is the worst spill in 15 years, has polluted hundreds of miles of rivers, impacted the lives of 120,000 people, including 27,000 indigenous people, and is part of an ongoing toxic legacy of oil drilling in Ecuador.

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