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23 Фев 2023

// Libération (France) avec AFP

French bank BNP Paribas sued for financing fossil fuel companies

Oxfam France, Friends of the Earth France and Notre Affaire à Tous are suing the eurozone’s largest bank on the grounds that its financing of oil and gas companies breaches a legally binding duty to ensure its activities do not harm the environment.

"BNP Paribas continues to write new blank cheques to the largest fossil fuel companies without setting any conditions for an oil-free, gas-free ecological transition," said Alexandre Poidatz, advocacy officer at Oxfam France...

A French law adopted in 2017 requires companies to draft environmental damage vigilance plans, but no court in France has yet to force any to change their practices based on the law...

While BNP does not directly finance such projects, the groups say its general extension of credit allows it to continue supporting potentially damaging projects via its banking clients, while making climate-friendly claims.

In a statement sent to reporters, BNP Paribas said it regretted the groups chose litigation over dialogue, and it said it could not stop all fossil fuel financing right away.

At the end of January, BNP Paribas announced it would be cutting its financing of fossil fuel extraction and production projects by 80 percent, to less than a billion euros, by 2030.

Legal activism is an increasingly popular move for campaigners as they seek to push companies to move faster in the shift to a low-carbon economy...