BNP to Halt Shale Oil Financing, Expand Funds for Renewables

Bloomberg, 11 October, 2017

BNP Paribas SA pledged to stop financing shale and oil sands projects, expanding earlier commitments in support of global efforts to tackle climate change.

France’s largest bank will no longer do business with companies whose main activity stems from oil and natural gas obtained from shale or oil sands, it said in a statement Wednesday. The policy covers companies involved in activities ranging from exploration to marketing and trading. The company also won’t fund oil or gas projects in the Arctic region.

BNP Paribas said it’s committed to bringing its financing and investment activities in line with international efforts to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. Achieving that goal relies on reducing the world’s dependence on fossil fuels,  starting with energy from shale and oil sands, the bank said…

Once a global leader in oil financing, BNP has withdrawn from funding coal mines and coal-fired power plants in recent years, along with other big European banks including Societe Generale SA, HSBC Holdings Plc and Credit Agricole SA. Energy excluding electricity represented 4 percent of BNP’s total lending commitments, down from 6 percent in mid-2015, according to its filings.

“Our role is to help drive the energy transition,” Chief Executive Officer Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said in the statement. “We’re a long-standing partner to the energy sector and we’re determined to support the transition to a more sustainable world.”

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