While the fashion is for ecological and COP21-compatible discourse, the banking discourse is no exception to the trend: greener, greener, greener. However, a closer look reveals that the rhetoric is hardly followed by action and that banking investments in the carbon sector are largely dominant.
A A few days before COP 21, everyone is mobilizing. At the beginning of the week, it was the Medef's turn to publish a manifesto to get the French bosses moving. Its president, Pierre Gattaz, said that "the energy transition is the major sector for the next thirty years"evoking even"a huge opportunity for French companies.»
A green façade speech
However, the main French banks are hiding behind a façade of "green talk" in order to continue to invest massively in polluting energies. Forgotten the commitments made at the Copenhagen conferencein 2009. Business must go on.
It's a report published on November 5th by Oxfam which lifts the veil of hypocrisy. The title of the document is eloquent: "French banks, when green turns to black". From the very first pages, the writers of the report ring the bell: " The major French and international banks continue to finance fossil fuels in much higher proportions and to the detriment of their support for renewable energies.
A study of their support for fossil and renewable energies since the Copenhagen climate summit and their evolution shows only one thing: French and international banks are far from having taken the path of energy transition.. »
The numbers speak for themselves
►Between 2009 and 2014, the 25 largest French banks supported renewable energies 89 billion, compared with 847 billion euros for fossil fuels, i.e.9.5 times more.
►Since 2009, for every euro released for renewable energies, French banks have been offering 7 euros to fossil fuels. Indeed, between 2009 and 2014, the five main French banks have granted 18 billion euros to renewable energies compared to nearly 129 billion euros to fossil fuels.
►Since the last major climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, French banks have not changed their behaviour and continue to favour fossil fuels.
At this rate, French banks' support for renewable energies will never exceed that provided for fossil fuels.
BNP Paribas, the fossil bank
Aggravatingly, the leading French bank, BNP Paribas, which is also the sponsoring bank of COP 21, is the one that invests the most in the carbon economy. It is ranked as the leading fossil fuel bank in France and 5th internationally, with nearly €52 billion in fossil fuels since 2009. BNP Paribas is the bank that is the most supportive of fossil fuels compared to renewable energies. With EUR 6 billion devoted to this sector, it supports fossil fuels nine times more than renewable energies.
For many years, and even more so with the holding of COP21 in Paris, the major French banks have been taking care of their communication, in order to present a picture showing their consideration of the climate emergency. But behind the varnish, the reality is much less green. Between the slogan and the reality of the figures, the banks are often accused of "greenwashing".
Fair Finance Francewith Oxfam France and Friends of the Earth have conducted this study." French banks: when green turns to black "based on analyses by Profundo7 , an independent Dutch research firm, which compared the support of 75 banks, including the 25 largest internationally, in fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and renewable energies (wind, solar and geothermal) from January 2004 to December 20148 .