BNP Paribas pledges to stop financing the oil & gas industry
The French banking giant, BNP Paribas, announced its new global financing policy stating that it will stop financing companies whose main activities are in the shale and tar sands oil industry, as part of its plan to accelerate its support of the energy transition and tackle climate change.
The new financing policy is in line with the International Energy Agency (IEA) scenario, which aims to keep global warming below 2°C by 2100.
Through a press release published on Wednesday, the bank announced that it will no longer do business with companies whose principal business activity is the exploration, production, distribution, marketing or trading of oil and gas from shale/or oil from tar sands.
In addition, BNP Paribas will stop financing projects that are primarily involved in the transportation or export of oil and gas, like LNG terminals and pipelines that carry oil or gas.
Importantly, the giant bank will cease any kind of financing related to oil and gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region.
Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, said: “We’re a long-standing partner to the energy sector and we’re determined to support the transition to a more sustainable world”.
“As an international bank, our role is to help drive the energy transition and contribute to the decarbonisation of the economy. As we have announced, we’re committed to working with and supporting those energy sector partners who have decided to make environmental issues a central part of their business policy”.
BNP Paribas integrated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors into risk management for all its financing and investment activities since 2010.
So far, BNP Paribas has set a target of €15 billion in financing renewable energy projects by 2020, in addition to €100 million destined for investment in start-ups specialising in the energy transition with activities in energy storage, energy efficiency et al.
It has launched a highly ambitious policy on Green Bonds, available for financing projects in renewable energies, energy efficiency, mass and public transportation, water management, waste treatment, and recycling.
The French giant has also withdrawn from financing coal mines and coal-fired power plants and has declared that it is no longer supporting coal companies which aren’t actively trying to diversify their energy sources.