DNB, the largest bank in Norway, is considering pulling its funding of the North Dakota oil pipeline if the $3.8 billion project does not address Native Americans' concerns.
"DNB looks with worry at how the situation around the pipeline in North Dakota has developed," the bank said in a statement on Nov.ber 7, according to Reuters. "The bank will therefore take initiative and use its position to bring about a more constructive process to find a solution to the conflict."
Protesters and authorities have fought over the Energy Transfer Partner's Dakota Access pipeline, which would pass through sacred Native American land in order to bring shale oil from North Dakota to Illinois. In addition to disrupting the land, it would also pollute the water that many Native Americans drink, tribes and protesters say.
"If these initiatives do not give appeasing answers and results, DNB will consider its further involvement in the financing of the project," added DNB.
Though the bank has not disclosed how much money they initially pledged to contribute to the pipeline, a Norwegian media outlet estimated it to be more than $340 million in loans, which is roughly 10 percent of the project's entire cost.
Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, and JPMorgan Chase are some of the big name American financial institutions who have pledged to contribute funds for the 1,172-mile pipeline, notes Grist.org.
"Banks have a choice to either finance the transition to renewable energy, or to finance pipelines and power plants that will lock us into fossil fuels for the next 40 years," said John Frijns, director of Netherlands-based advocacy organization BankTrack, which led the petition to reroute the pipeline away from the sacred lands, according to The New York Times. "If we're serious about fighting climate change, we can't continue to finance fossil fuel infrastructure of any kind."