French bank promises huge cut in funding for oil producers by 2030

Europe  ReutersCharles Platiau
JAN 25, 2023 LISTEN
© Reuters/Charles Platiau

French bank BNP Paribas said Tuesday it plans to cut its financing of oil extraction and production by 80 percent by 2030. The announcement follows a threat by three activist groups to sue the bank for continuing to finance oil and gas projects.

The pledge goes further than the bank's promise of a 25 percent cut by 2025, even if oil refining and gas extraction are not covered.

BNP Paribas had 5.3 billion euros in oil extraction and production financing last September, and intends to reduce that to below one billion euros by 2030.

By comparison, BNP Paribas had 12.1 billion euros of financing for oil refining, 5.0 billion for natural gas and 1.3 billion for coal.

The 23.7 billion in fossil fuel financing is already outweighed by the 28.2 billion in low-carbon financing, the overwhelming majority of which is for renewables.

BNP Paribas said it plans to have more than 80 percent of its energy production financing activities geared towards the production of low-carbon sources.

It set a target of 40 billion euros in outstanding financing for the production of low-carbon, primarily renewable, energies by 2030.

The bank said outstanding financing for gas extraction and production will be reduced by more than 30 percent by 2030.

BNP says it plans to focus financing in the gas sector on new generation, low-emission power plants as well as on supply security, gas terminals and gas transportation fleets.

The announcement by the bank comes after three activist groups threatened to file a lawsuit against the company for breaking pledges to stop financing new oil and gas projects.

They had given the bank until Thursday to respond.
Banks and asset managers are regularly criticised by climate activists for financing the fossil fuel sector, in particular projects which experts say are incompatible with reaching carbon neutrality by mid-century.

(With the AFP news agency)