Banque Postale, a French bank, has committed to stop providing services to the coal, oil and gas sectors by 2030, becoming the first bank in the world to do so, it said in a statement released on Thursday.
The bank said it will no longer provide financial services like loans and payment solutions to companies producing fossil fuels.
It will also refrain from financing oil and gas energy projects, and will gradually diverst from such businesses over the coming years.
Banque Postale is making the commitment as part of the Science Backed Targets (SBT) initiative, led by four major international organisations: the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project), the WRI (World Resources Institute), the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
These organisations validated Banque Postale’s decarbonisation trajectory by 2030 and recognised it as compatible with the objective of limiting global warming to well below 2°C set by the Paris Agreement .
This trajectory covers both Banque Postale’s own activities (carbon emissions from its property portfolio and its fleet of vehicles, type of energy used, etc.) as well as the impacts linked to its investments and financing with its customers.
La Banque Postale said: “We are today the leading European bank and among the leading financial institutions in the world, to have a decarbonisation strategy in accordance with the Paris Agreements validated according to a benchmark scientific method. The climate emergency requires us to accelerate, which brings us to a complete phase-out of fossil fuels, by 2030 at the latest.”
Banque Postale has made a commitment to:
• reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 46.2% by 2030 (scope 1 & 2) compared to 2019;
• continue to use 100% electricity from renewable sources until 2030;
• and to achieve scientifically determined objectives on 85% of its total financing and investment portfolio by 2030 (mortgage, commercial real estate, financing of energy projects, stocks and bonds and long-term loans to companies) .
Environmental organisations Reclaim Finance, Friends of the Earth France and Oxfam France said they welcomed Banque Postale’s move.
“If all banks were to copy and paste La Banque Postale’s policy, the climate would be largely spared,” they said in a joint statement.
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