BNP Paribas to cease funding shale/tar sands, and increase financing for renewables

BNP Paribas is seeking to bring its activities in line with the IEA scenario, aiming to keep global warming within 2 degrees in the 21st Century. The banking group today announced a series of measures with this in mind, along with big plans for financing renewable energy projects. The measures taken in full are as follows:

The BNP Paribas Group 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 and/or oil from tar sands.

 

BNP Paribas is also ceasing financing of projects that are primarily involved in the transportation or export of oil and gas from shale or oil from tar sands.

 

The Group will not finance any oil or gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region.

 

BNP Paribas will continue to actively support clients in the energy sector who are committed to being part of the energy transition.

 

These new measures complement the Group’s previous decisions to reduce its support for coal mines and coal-fired power generation, to increase its total financing for renewable energy to €15 billion by 2020, and to set aside €100 million for investment in start-ups working on innovative solutions for energy transition.

The group has already announced plans to withdraw investments in coal mines and power plants, and coal energy companies which do not have a diversification strategy in place.

In an editorial published on LinkedIn, the group’s CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafé outlined his view on the role of financial institutions in the energy transition, stating “From my perspective as a banker, ‘energy transition’ is practically synonymous with sustainable economic development.” Bonnafé goes on to underline the role of banks in the aim stated in the Paris Agreement of “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate resilient development.”

“There is a need to act with speed and determination,” states Bonnafé. “But without either destabilizing the more developed countries or delaying the prospects for a better life which are held out to hundreds of millions of people in the emerging countries.”