Nordea, Standing Rock Needs Action, Not Ridicule #NordeaDivestDAPL

Nordea bank is invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. 

And Sasja Beslik, the "Head of Sustainable Finance at Nordea Wealth Management", who used to work for BP Petroleum is accusing water protectors of being hypocrites for criticizing the inescapable structures of society from within. His insult does not hold water, and Nordea should probably advise him that ridiculing indigenous people for being trapped in a world run by Big Oil is not a gracious way to move towards a greener future. 

Nordea said last week that they are shareholders in Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco Logistics, and Phillips 66- that means they are part owners are responsible for the projects of those companies.

 They just announced they won’t make any new investments in DAPL and offered lots of words but no action. Please tell them they need to fully divest from DAPL now: #NordeaDivestDAPL!

Comment on Nordea’s Facebook post: tell them if they care about Indigenous rights, climate change, or sustainability they must DIVEST NOW!

Call Nordea USA office: 212-318-9300

Call Nordea HQ office in Sweden:

+46 101571000

TWITTER STORM: starting Monday, Dec 19th, 12pm EST (11am CT, 6pm Swedish time) tweet using hashtag #NordeaDivestDAPL and tweet at @Nordea @SasjaBeslik

 

Sample posts:

Rerouting DAPL is not enough @Nordea: no community should be threatened by the pipeline  #NordeaDivestDAPL

How can @SasjaBeslik say he is “fighting #climatechange through investments” when he’s invested in DAPL? #NordeaDivestDAPL

Hey @SasjaBeslik wanna know how to break top 30 most influential? Demand #NordeaDivestDAPL! http://www.nordea.com/en/press-and-news/news-and-press-releases/news-en/2016/2016-06-16-beslik-one-of-the-worlds-most-influential-tweeters.html

Swedish bank @Nordea is invested in DAPL: they say they will wait 6 months but it will be too late: divest now! #NordeaDivestDAPL

@SasjaBeslik and @Nordea are getting rich off of threatening the water source for millions #waterislife #NordeaDivestDAPL

After visiting Standing Rock, the Swedish investment firm Nordea Sverige has paid lip service to the need to protect Indigenous people’s rights and address climate change, without taking any real action. Nordea is invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. On Tuesday, December 13th, they announced they will be taking several steps regarding the project. None of the steps include what the tribes at Standing Rock have been asking: divest from the project, #DefundDAPL. 

Nordea is staying invested in the three companies building DAPL: Energy Transfer Partners, Sunoco Logistics Partners, and Philips 66. When asked why they haven’t decided to divest, the head of sustainable finance at Nordea said:

Sasja Beslik explained that Nordea’s approach is to use holdings to influence businesses for the better. If we don’t have a holding, we don’t have any influence. Exclusion is therefore a last resort and happens when we find the prospect of change to be impossible.

This is a common excuse for not divesting. In fact, there is no evidence that trying to influence a company as a shareholder, aka “shareholder advocacy”, has any effect. Can Nordea point to examples where their proposed approach has worked? Divestment, on the other hand, has a long history of creating powerful change, including helping end apartheid in South Africa. 

Nordea is claiming that re-routing is the “sustainable” thing to do. And on their original post in Swedish their headline said they were “stopping investments” when really they would stop new investments for 6 months. But judging from comments on Facebook, Nordea’s customers are not buying it and are going to move their money if Nordea doesn’t divest:

 

Åsa Olsson: 6 months? Oh my gosh. Stop completely! I don't want my money going there! Period!

Julia Örbom von Rohr: If you don't pull out COMPLETELY AND FULLY, I will no longer be a customer of yours. My money is not to be invested in this. Panama was forgiven but now my cup is full.....

Michael Malmström: You should consult your PR department. These robot responses are embarrassing. As soon as possible I will leave you after 40 years as a customer. 

Hampus Wallin: Horribly ugly, how does it change the situation that you freeze future investments?! Count on losing customers

Michaela Smeed: This is an outrage! Feels like you're trying to fool us! No new investments, you say, but you don't pull out. How can you even consider this? I now have no choice. Didn't want to really, but now I absolutely have to change my bank.

Ivan Hedlund: I am a customer in Nordea and actually thought better of you. Show the way and pull out this scandalous construction. A good reputation should be of great worth in your business!

Erik J. Rudvall: Thanks Nordea, but enough is enough. Your Judgment, your willingness to contribute to tax evasion, your investments, your bonuses and your "core values" I can't help, but my money and my banking I can move. Thursday next week, I meet my new bank.

 

See the Facebook post and leave your own comment telling Nordea if they care about Indigenous rights, climate change, or sustainability they must divest now!

In November, the largest bank in neighboring Norway sold its assets in the project in response to public pressure. And DAPL is in a tough financial situation now. And of course we need to stop this pipeline now before the new administration. 

On Twitter Sasja Beslik responded to criticisms: 

Some in the US want more pipelines but many do not. How can Sasja Beslik claim to be “fighting climate change through investments.” if Nordea is invested in DAPL? And he visited the Standing Rock camps. “He described the situation as calm” and “he did not see a single police officer there.” If things are calm and there are no cops whenever he’s around maybe he should stay at the camps more often? 

Nordea says they will put their investment on hold for six months as they advocate for rerouting the pipeline away from the reservation. And Beslik adds: "I don’t actually believe either that the world needs another oil pipeline, but it’s not the construction itself that the tribe wants to stop.” 

There are several problems with this stance and statement. There are over 300 tribes at Standing Rock, not only one tribe. And the call has always been #NoDAPL: we must stop the pipeline, not reroute it to threaten another community. And Beslik cannot speak for what the tribes want. If Nordea waits six months before reassessing and possibly divesting as a last resort, it will be too late. This is especially true after audio was released on Wednesday, December 14th, from an Energy Transfer meeting insisting they will be able to finish the pipeline right after Trump is inaugurated. 

Nordea outlines reasons they would decide to take action and divest, such as:

If the companies in question are found guilty of breaching the rights of the indigenous people. In that case, Nordea’s Sustainable Finance team will recommend selling the holdings.

Indigenous rights have already been breached. And all of Nordea’s conditions end with “Nordea’s Sustainable Finance team will recommend selling the holdings.” Over and over, the United States federal government has broken legally binding treaties with the tribes camped at Standing Rock. This is a possible recommendation from one team in a company. What is that worth?

Nordea needs to take action and divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline immediately. Without action their words and Beslik’s visit to Standing Rock mean nothing. 

Is your bank funding the Dakota Access Pipeline? Find out here!