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BNP Paribas takes further measures to accelerate its support of the energy transition

BNP Paribas Group has recently announced their new policies relating to the shift towards renewable energy. The group will no longer do business with companies whose principal business activity is the exploration, production, distribution, marketing or trading of oil and gas from shale and/or oil from tar sands.

BNP Paribas is also ceasing financing of projects that are primarily involved in the transportation or export of oil and gas from shale or oil from tar sands; The group will not finance any oil or gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region, and will continue to actively support clients in the energy sector who are committed to being part of the energy transition.

These new measures complement the group’s previous decisions to reduce its support for coal mines and coal-fired power generation, to increase its total financing for renewable energy to €15 billion by 2020, and to set aside €100 million for investment in start-ups working on innovative solutions for energy transition.

BNP Paribas is committed to bringing its financing and investment activities in line with the International Energy Agency (IEA) scenario, which aims to keep global warming below 2°C by the end of the century. To achieve this goal, the world must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, starting with oil and gas from shale and oil from tar sands whose extraction and production emit high levels of greenhouse gases and has harmful effects on the environment.

Accordingly, BNP Paribas announced a new global financing policy with regard to the exploration, production and transport of non-conventional hydrocarbons, where they will no longer be financing LNG terminals that predominantly liquefy and export gas from shale, and no financing of pipelines that primarily carry oil and gas from shale and/or oil from tar sands, and no business relations with companies that derive the majority of their revenue from these activities.

These measures mean that BNP Paribas will gradually cease to finance a significant number of players who are not actively part of a transition to a lower carbon economy. The group will continue to support its clients in the energy sector who are taking significant steps towards energy transition.

Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas, stated: “We’re a long-standing partner to the energy sector and we’re determined to support the transition to a more sustainable world. As an international bank, our role is to help drive the energy transition and contribute to the decarbonisation of the economy. As we have announced, we’re committed to working with and supporting those energy sector partners who have decided to make environmental issues a central part of their business policy.”

These far-reaching measures will reinforce the actions already taken by the group to combat climate change, notably in the energy sector; with a target of €15 billion in financing for renewable energy projects by 2020, investing a total of €100 million in start-ups specialising in energy transition (energy storage, energy efficiency, etc.), having a highly ambitious policy on Green Bonds, and withdrawing from financing of coal mines and coal-fired power plants, and no longer supporting coal energy sector companies that are not pursuing a policy of diversifying their energy sources.