four banks singled out for their investments in gas and oil

four banks singled out for their investments in gas and oil
four banks singled out for their investments in gas and oil
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Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images An illustrative photo of the BNP Paribas logo, visible on its offices in Paris. The French bank is ranked 13th by the NGO Reclaim Finance among the banks having financed fossil fuels over the last 7 years.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images

An illustrative photo of the BNP Paribas logo, visible on its offices in Paris. The French bank is ranked 13th by the NGO Reclaim Finance among the banks having financed fossil fuels over the last 7 years.

CLIMATE – Positioning yourself at the top of a ranking is generally a good sign. However, banks have no interest in finding themselves at the top of that established each year by the NGO Reclaim Finance, entitled “Banking on Climate Chaos”, which denounces banks’ investments in fossil fuels, which are harmful to the climate.

In its 15th edition, published this Monday, May 13, the international organization which closely monitors the world of finance and its links with the climate, once again points the finger at four major French banks, including BNP Paribas, the worst ranked.

“Even as climate chaos deepens, fossil fuel companies are doubling down on their expansion plans”, denounces the report. However, the exploitation of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) represents more than two thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is the primary cause of global warming. “Without a drastic reduction in fossil fuels, the climate will reach a catastrophic warming of 3°C by 2100,” recalls Reclaim Finance, based on the latest UN report on the subject.

BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole

In a press release, the French branch of the NGO addressed four banks, BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and BPCE, to ask them to stop ” definitely “ to support the expansion of fossil fuels, and to redirect these financial flows towards renewable energies. These four establishments represent 99% of the financial support granted by French banks to the expansion of fossil fuels between 2021 and 2023.

BNP Paribas, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole and BPCE rank respectively 13th, 23rd, 24th and 34th in the world ranking issued by the NGO, cumulatively over the last seven years. At the top of the list are mainly American banks, representing 31% of financing granted to the fossil fuel sector, but also Chinese (15%), Canadian (13%), and Japanese (11%) banks.

In comparison, French banks represent 7% of fossil fuel financing issued since 2016. There is, however, good news on the horizon. The NGO notes a slight downward trend in this financing from French energy banks between 2022 and 2023 and a virtual disappearance of financing for the coal industry. But this is still not enough to respect their commitments, in particular the one signed in 2021 in Glasgow to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by following a trajectory of 1.5°C.

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