BNP Paribas quits shale, oil sands funding

France’s largest bank said it will shun investment in unconventional and Arctic oil and gas resources as the country’s lower house of parliament upheld a government plan to ban oil production.

France’s largest bank said it will shun investment in unconventional and Arctic oil and gas resources as the country’s lower house of parliament upheld a government plan to ban oil production.

BNP Paribas Group said it no longer would do business with producers, distributors, marketers, or traders focused on oil and gas from shale or oil sands.

It also said it won’t finance projects mainly involved in transport and export of oil and gas from shale or oil sands.

BNP Paribas also will quit financing oil and gas exploration and production in the Arctic.

“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 company said in a press release.

It said it is aligning its financing and investment with a global target of limiting atmospheric warming to 2°C. above a preindustrial baseline by 2100.

“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 emits high levels of greenhouse gases and has harmful effects on the environment,” it said.

BNP Paribas earlier withdrew from financing coal mines and coal-fired power plants.

It wants its financing of renewable energy projects to reach €15 billion by 2020.

By a vote of 316-99, meanwhile, the National Assembly supported the government’s initiative to cease exploration and production licensing and oil production by 2040.

French production recently was 15,000 b/d of oil.

The government also plans to halt sales of cars powered by diesel or gasoline by 2040 (OGJ Online, July 27, 2017).

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