October 12, 2017 Read More →

BNP Paribas, Largest French Bank, to Reduce Its Exposure to Oil and Gas

Wall Street Journal:

French lender BNP Paribas said Wednesday it will no longer finance shale and oil sands projects, in one of the clearest signs yet the banking industry is re-evaluating its relationship with the oil sector amid mounting pressure from investors and top financial institutions.

France’s largest listed bank said it would stop working with companies whose main business is the exploration, production, distribution or marketing of oil and gas from shale or oil sands. BNP Paribas won’t finance oil or gas projects in the Arctic region either, the bank said.

“These measures will lead us to stop financing a significant number of players that don’t further the transition toward an economy that emits less greenhouse gas,” BNP Paribas Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafé wrote in a post on LinkedIn published Wednesday.

BNP Paribas is one of the first banks to eschew parts of the oil sector. Many governments are taking steps to curb emissions and investors have been increasing pressure on companies over their environmental footprints.

“Shareholders want to invest in companies that have a sustainable business model and are resilient in the event of new climate laws and regulation,” said BNP Paribas’s global head of corporate social responsibility, Laurence Pessez.

Earlier this year, a panel of top financial institutions and companies led by Michael Bloomberg published a series of guidelines pushing for companies to disclose more about the impact of climate change on their businesses.

More: ($) BNP Paribas to Stop Financing Shale, Oil Sands Projects

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