Climate Action

BNP Paribas accelerates exit from coal in all OECD countries by 2030

French bank BNP Paribas has announced it has expanded its target to end the use of coal by its electricity-producing customers by the end of 2030 to all OECD countries.

  • 15 May 2020
  • Cordelia Van-Ristell

French bank BNP Paribas has announced it has expanded its target to end the use of coal by its electricity-producing customers by the end of 2030 to all OECD countries.

BNP Paribas has confirmed a strengthening of its coal divestment strategy, setting forward the target date for ending the use of coal power by its electricity generating customers in multiple countries.

The bank said it will continue its commitment to sever links with all customers developing new coal-based production capacity in the near future and will no longer accept any new customers that generate more than 25% of their revenue from coal related activities.

The bank added that the implementation of this policy will: “quickly lead to a reduction of around half of the number of BNP Paribas corporate customers using coal for a share of their electricity generation.”

BNP Paribas is well-known as a leader in sustainable investment practices and has been securing its funding criteria for coal-related activities since 2011, particularly the generation of electricity using coal.

Since 2017, it has not financed a single new coal-fired power-plant project anywhere in the world and does not advise on the purchase or sale of such assets. 

In 2019, the share of coal in electricity generation already averaged less than 18% among BNP Paribas customers, paralleled to 38% for all global electricity companies. In 2017, BNP Paribas was the first of the world's 35 largest banks to cease dealings with shale-gas and tar-sands companies.

“For almost 10 years our policies have attested to our commitment to be a major international bank that is particularly advanced with regard to the energy transition.”

“BNP Paribas is the first bank in the world that has set a coal exit date, decided to end the financing of shale-gas and tar-sands specialists, and acquired a leading position in financing renewable-electricity projects,” said Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the BNP Paribas Group.

“Beyond coal and unconventional hydrocarbons, we are putting in place innovative tools that will enable us to systematically introduce environmental criteria into our lending decisions and align our portfolio with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.” 

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