In 2022, French banks doubled the amount of green and sustainable loans outstanding compared to 2021, BPCE CEO Nicolas Namias, who is also chairman of the French Banking Federation (FBF), announced on Wednesday. That is a total of €216 billion.
It was €100 billion in 2021, according to figures from the professional federation. For renewables alone, the amount of financing amounts to €50 billion in 2022. "Today, every green project is financed," Nicolas Namias told Radio Classique, whether for individuals wishing to finance energy renovation work on their homes or industrialists wishing to develop offshore wind farms, for example. Banks are regularly criticised by NGOs for their support of fossil fuels, through their financing, their investments or their advisory and financial engineering activities. They regularly update their policies limiting the impact on global warming and are back in the spotlight on the eve of COP28, which opens on Thursday in Dubai.
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BNP stops financing metallurgical coal
BNP Paribas announced last week that it will no longer finance metallurgical coal, which is mainly intended for the steel industry, and Societe Generale on Monday clarified commitments made in September, adding a section on the decarbonisation of the commercial real estate sector. "French banks are ahead of their international counterparts (...) in the financing of green energy," said Nicolas Namias. "The challenge of the transition is one that is at once massive, urgent and complex: massive given the investments that need to be made, urgent given the fact that in a few years we have to modify a system of production and consumption that dates back to the industrial era and complex because we have to aim for different objectives," continued the President of the French Banking Federation.