BNP Paribas (OTC: BNPQY ) SA, a leading European bank, has announced it will stop financing metallurgical coal mining projects. This move is part of the bank's broader strategy to align its steel sector credit portfolio with net zero objectives and to meet specific carbon emission intensity targets across various industries, including the oil and gas sectors. The decision comes amid increasing regulatory pressures and activist scrutiny.
The bank has confirmed its commitment to exit thermal coal finance by 2030 in Europe and OECD countries and by 2040 in other regions. This announcement follows recent warnings from the European Central Bank (ECB) about climate risk management, which could result in fines for approximately twenty banks that are found to be lacking adequate strategies.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) is also adjusting capital requirements to include Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria and advising on improved client risk assessments. Despite facing criticisms from climate activists for financing fossil fuel expansion, BNP Paribas has emerged as the leading issuer of green project bonds. These activists, including the nonprofit Reclaim Finance, have pointed out significant investments by major banks into the metallurgical industry since the Paris agreement.
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