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French banks on the front line of financing new fossil projects, according to NGOs

2023-04-13T05:17:54.645Z


Several French banks are said to have financed US and European oil and gas companies to the tune of 11.9 billion euros.


French banks were last year "

the main European supporters of the expansion of fossil fuels

" via the financing of the major oil and gas majors, several NGOs said on Thursday.

In the “ Banking on Climate Chaos

” report

, seven NGOs including Reclaim Finance and Friends of the Earth argue that the top nine US and European oil and gas companies, including TotalEnergies, BP and Eni, collectively received 11, $9 billion in financing from French banks, mainly Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas and Société Générale.

Bad students on a European scale, French banks remain far behind their North American counterparts in the financing of fossil fuels, according to this report.

Crédit Agricole and BNP Paribas, like the Italian Unicredit, even increased their financing of this industry in 2022 compared to 2021, assure these NGOs, amounts in support.

The calculations relate to the loans granted, but also the issues of shares and bonds of oil, gas and coal companies.

In a statement sent to AFP, BNP Paribas refutes this finding "

on the basis of a report in which we found numerous errors and methodological biases, in particular on the accounting of credits

" attributed to it.

Beyond the figures, this annual study “

shows the failure of the policies adopted by French financial players

”, deplores Lucie Pinson, director of the Reclaim finance association, to AFP.

One French bank, however, is an exception: the Banque Postale.

In 2021, it presented itself as "

the first bank in the world

" to commit to a total exit from the oil and gas sectors by 2030. French banks have all made carbon neutrality commitments by 2050. “

The fight against climate change is a priority for French banks, which are implementing ambitious policies to support a socially responsible, global and sustainable transition.

“, defends the French Banking Federation (FBF), which denounces like last year a study with “

fanciful

” figures.

Read alsoUBS calls for help from its ex-boss to digest Credit Suisse

On February 23, three environmental NGOs sued BNP Paribas, Europe's leading bank, for its "

significant contribution

" to global warming, because of its oil and gas customers.

Source: lefigaro

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