New figures: BNP, best friend of fossil fuels


Every year, the Banking On Climate Chaos report analyzes bank financing to fossil fuels. Released today, the 14th edition reveals that since the Paris Agreement, European banks have poured $1.331 trillion into fossil fuels, despite their big talk on climate.

French banks at the service of the fossil fuel industry

The latest figures have just come out, and they are edifying. While the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, set the goal of containing global warming to +1.5°C, since then, French banks have supported fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas) to the tune of 406 billion dollars. Let’s not forget that fossil fuels are responsible for almost 80% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide!

The Banking On Climate Chaos report, which has updated its figures with data for the year 2022, reveals that French banks are playing a key role in the climate crisis. In 2022, with their 15.7 billion dollars of financing, they were the first European supporters of fossil fuel development. If French banks are condemning the climate and our future, BNP is the leader in this headlong rush.

BNP at the helm of climate change

BNP Paribas’ support for fossil fuels is soaring… Since COP21, the bank with the green logo has given $165 billion to coal, oil and gas. 165 billion dollars is four times the amount that would be needed to renovate all of France’s thermal colanders! BNP’s contribution to climate change is a trend that seems to be confirmed year after year, despite the bank’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Between 2021 and 2022, the French bank increased its financing to fossil fuels by 20%, making BNP the European bank that increased its financing to this industry the most last year.

BNP has also risen to become the world’s 4th largest financier of fossil fuel development, with a total of $64.2 billion granted since 2016.

BNP’s main accomplices in this toxic expansion of oil and gas? The big oil and gas majors. BNP is the world’s 1st financer of the 9 European and American majors (BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Equinor, Eni, Exxon, Repsol, Shell and Total) and has granted them $45.4 billion since 2016. In fact, BNP is the number one financier of Total in 2022!

BNP’s grand speeches on climate issues should not be trusted. Between 2016 and 2022, 37% of the bank’s financing to the fossil fuel industry was related to bond issues, not loans. This “hidden” financing therefore evades the bank’s commitments announced last January, following our formal notice.

France’s most polluting bank also remains very aggressive in offshore oil and gas development, a sector that poses a high risk to the climate and biodiversity. This is evidenced by the $42 billion that BNP has granted since 2016, making the bank the world’s leading financier of this sector.

What can we do?

In the face of this alarming situation, civil society has the power to change things! The scientific community has taken the lead and made its voice heard. In a letter addressed to the directors of BNP Paribas, 600 scientists urged the members of BNP’s board of directors to resign if the bank continued to support new fossil fuel projects.

Last February, our associations Friends of the Earth, Notre Affaire à Tous and Oxfam France launched a legal action to force BNP to respect its duty of vigilance on climate. This is a first in the world! Indeed, this is the first time that a bank will have to go before a judge to answer for its contribution to global warming.

You too, join the movement! The more people join the BNP Affair, the more we will be able to reverse the balance of power against the most polluting bank in France. Indeed, for years, the figures in the Banking On Climate Chaos reports have shown that BNP is continuing its mad dash to finance climate bombs that are dooming our future on Earth. A binding court decision has the power to change things!

I want to do something about it

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