The announcement is timely, just two month’s Climate Summit which will be held in Paris at the initiative of the president and Emmanuel Macron on the 12th of December next. The bank BNP Paribas, the first of the euro zone in terms of assets, announced on Wednesday new commitments to be very practical in the fight against global warming, aligning its financing activities and investment ” on the scenario of the International Energy Agency (IEA) aimed at containing global warming below 2° c by the end of the century.”
The giant French bank will put in place “a new global policy on funding related to the exploration, production and transport of unconventional oil, “arguing that” the gas and oil from shale and oil from oil sands, are sources of energy whose extraction and production are very emitters of greenhouse gas emissions and have a negative impact on the environment.”
On the one hand, BNP Paribas ceases its relationship with the actors, whose main activity is the exploration, production, distribution, marketing or trading of natural gas and oil shale and/or oil from oil sands. On the other hand, the bank stops financing projects “primarily dedicated” to the transportation and export of gas or shale oil (pipelines, terminals, LNG). In addition, BNP Paribas undertakes not to financial projects of exploration or production of oil and gas in the Arctic.
“A step in the right direction” for the NGO
At the annual general meeting of shareholders in may of last year, environmental activists, including the association of Friends of the Earth, coming with a chief of the sioux tribe, had challenged the director general of BNP Paribas, Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, the topic of funding of the controversial oil pipeline Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) in the United States. Société Générale and Crédit Agricole had suffered the same fate.
On Wednesday, Friends of the Earth recognise that the announcement of BNP Paribas is ” a step in the right direction. “
“In spite of the shadows [on the scope of application], we welcome the direction being taken by the bank : the climate emergency requires the relinquishing of parts still wider of fossil fuels, and exclude the fossil fuels non-conventional is the next step after the measures already adopted on the coal.
We call now the other French banks, Crédit Agricole, Société Générale and Natixis to follow in the footsteps of BNP Paribas and to go even further ! ” is launching a spokesperson of the NGO in a press release.
The NGO notes that ” BNP Paribas is the first bank to commit to not wanting to fund or pipelines, shale gas or lng terminals that liquefy and export mainly to shale gas “, even though it continues to serve of counsel to the terminal project Texas LNG.
Be an accelerator of the energy transition
Jean-Laurent Bonnafé has been writing on the social network LinkedIn in order to explain the group’s approach.
“Financing the economy in the twenty-first century, it is to be an accelerator of the energy transition. […] My point of view of the banker, but also an engineer by training, is that the transition energy is today the other name of economic development.”
He stressed that the bank has set internally, “the goal of carbon neutrality by the end of 2017,” and that it has ” decided not to finance mines and coal-fired power stations in the world and fund the companies in this sector who are committed to a strategy of diversification of their sources of production. “The boss of BNP argues :
“Historic partner of the energy sector and committed player in the transition towards a more sustainable world, our role an international bank is to be an accelerator of the energy transition and a committed player in the decarbonisation of the economy. “
The bank of the rue d’antin had already taken a series of measures and commitments for the climate, in particular ” a goal of 15 billion euros of financing renewable energy in 2020 and an investment of 100 million euros in start-up specialized in the energy transition (energy storage, energy efficiency, etc).
At the beginning of September, the group was created at the beginning of September a management of the engagement, with the aim of ‘ taking a cap in the taking into account societal and environmental issues. “