BNP Paribas to halt shale oil fi­nanc­ing in cli­mate change pledge

BNP Paribas will do its part in tack­ling cli­mate change

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Front Page -

TOKYO: BNP Paribas SA promised to stop fi­nanc­ing shale and oil sands projects as part of its lat­est ef­forts to tackle cli­mate change.

France’s big­gest bank will no longer do busi­ness with com­pa­nies whose main busi­ness stems from oil and gas ob­tained from shale or oil sands, it said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

The pol­icy cov­ers com­pa­nies in­volved in ac­tiv­i­ties rang­ing from ex­plo­ration to mar­ket­ing and trad­ing. The bank added that it won’t fund oil or gas projects in the Arc­tic re­gion.

BNP Paribas said it’s com­mit­ted to bring­ing its fi­nanc­ing and in­vest­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in line with in­ter­na­tional ef­forts to keep global warm­ing below 2 de­grees Cel­sius by the end of the cen­tury.

Achiev­ing that tar­get re­lies on re­duc­ing the world’s de­pen­dence on fos­sil fu­els, start­ing with those ex­tracted from shale and oil sands – ac­tiv­i­ties that emit high lev­els of green­house gases, it said.

“We’re a long-stand­ing part­ner to the en­ergy sec­tor and we’re de­ter­mined to sup­port the tran­si­tion to a more sus­tain­able world,” chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Jean-- Lau­rent Bon­nafe said in the state­ment. €

BNP is al­ready tar­get­ing 15bil (US$17.7bil) in fi­nanc­ing for re­new­able en­ergy projects by 2020 € and 100mil of in­vest­ment in star­tups in ar­eas such as power stor­age and ef­fi­ciency, it said.

The bank is also with­draw­ing from fund­ing of coal mines and coal-fired power plants and is no longer sup­port­ing com­pa­nies that aren’t try­ing to di­ver­sify their en­ergy sources away from the fuel.

US oil and gas out­put has surged over the past six years as drillers un­locked oil trapped in shale for­ma­tions, partly by in­ject­ing water, sand and chem­i­cals un­der high pres­sure to crack open reser­voirs. The process known as hy­draulic frac­tur­ing – or frack­ing – has been at the cen­tre of con­tro­ver­sies about con­tam­i­nat­ing water sources and caus­ing earth­quakes.

Meanwhile, in­vestor sen­ti­ment to­ward oil sands – a heavy crude that is capital in­ten­sive to ex­tract – has soured as prices halved from above US$100 a bar­rel over the past three years, with Royal Dutch Shell Plc sell­ing out of its oil sands as­sets in Canada. — Bloomberg

Harm­ful method: Dead sun­flow­ers stand in a field near dor­mant oil drilling rigs which have been stacked in Dickinson, North Dakota. Frack­ing used to ex­tract US shale oil has been at the cen­tre of con­tro­ver­sies.

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