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Largest Bank in Norway Sells Its Assets in Dakota Access Pipeline

The largest bank in Norway, DNB, announced Thursday that it has sold its assets in the Dakota Access Pipeline, accounting for 10 percent of the total funding for the project.

The $3.8 billion pipeline project is now entering its final stretch. More than 80 percent of the pipeline has already been constructed.

Earlier this month, Reuters reported that DNB was "reconsidering its participation" in the financing of the pipeline if "concerns raised by Native American tribes against its construction are not addressed."

"We have initiated an independent review of how indigenous rights are safeguarded in this process," Even Westerveld of DNB said. "In addition, we have intensified the dialogue with our customers to use our position as a bank to influence a solution to the conflict."

"It is great that DNB has sold its assets in the disputed pipeline, and it is a clear signal that it is important that people speak out when injustice is committed," Martin Norman, Greenpeace Norway sustainable finance campaigner, said. "We now expect DNB to also terminate its loans for the project immediately."

"There should be a clause in the lending agreement that deals with human rights violations, and DNB should use it to get its money back and end all involvement in the Dakota Access pipeline. If they don't have such a clause they must accept they have a bad contract and take the loss."

This news follows the delivery of 120,000 signatures gathered by SumOfUs.org to DNB by Greenpeace Norway and others urging the bank and other financial institutions to pull finances for the project.

"The writing's on the wall for the Dakota Access pipeline. People power is winning," Norman continued.

"The news that DNB has sold its assets and is considering terminating its loans is a victory for the water protectors who are fighting to stop this disaster of a project. All financial institutions with a stake in the pipeline must quickly realize that financing this project is toxic. It would be smart for them to get out ahead of the growing movement of customers looking to divest from banks that finance the destruction of our planet and ignore Indigenous rights and sovereignty. Citigroup, TD Securities, Wells Fargo, SunTrust, and the other banks backing this project should see this as a sign to get on the right side of history."

The $3.8 billion pipeline project is now entering its final stretch. More than 80 percent of the pipeline has already been constructed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that it would delay a decision on granting an easement to Energy Transfer Partners for the contentious pipeline. However, on Tuesday, a Unicorn Riot reporter spotted construction continuing despite the Army Corps decision.

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