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Banks and Climate – French banks are spearheading green and responsible finance

Banks et climate

In 2015, following the COP 21 climate conference that produced the Paris Agreement – the first universal agreement on the climate and global warming – the French Banking Federation (FBF) published a document entitled ‘Banks & Climate’ to identify the climate initiatives taken by the banking sector and showcase the wide variety of solutions available to individuals and professionals to foster a greener economy. The FBF is now publishing the third edition of the Banks & Climate report (which was first updated in 2017), demonstrating that banks are stepping up their commitment in this area year after year.

In July 2019, French banks reiterated their collective commitment to combating climate change with a series of undertakings to round out their individual efforts. This commitment was set out in the Paris Europlace declaration, which provides for the creation of an observatory to monitor the actions and achievements of members of the Paris Financial Centre in green and sustainable finance. It marks a real step forward and comes alongside ongoing methodological research being conducted with the supervisory authorities to improve the assessment of portfolio exposure to climate risk. Banks also undertook to implement coal strategies with a global divestment timetable. In September 2019, the FBF officially endorsed the UNEP FI Principles for Responsible Banking.

These principles reinforce the proactive policies already implemented by French banks in support of the energy transition.

In addition, French banks are increasing their support for large-scale climate projects (wind farms, solar power plants, etc.), they are signing North/South partnerships and are developing a range of innovative solutions to finance their clients’ green projects (for individuals, businesses, local authorities and governments) as well as offering green savings products. The wide range of solutions enable French banks to finance all types of projects, from sustainable infrastructure to the thermal renovation of individual homes.

All these initiatives confirm that French banks are committed drivers of green finance on the world stage. However, to allow the movement to gather pace, all members of the ecosystem – government departments, local authorities, businesses and families – must invest in renewable energy and the energy transition. To achieve this, information and support must be available to give everyone the means to undertake the necessary renovation work.

With the Banks & Climate report – a comprehensive guide to the measures and solutions implemented by French banks to tackle global warming – the FBF seeks to illustrate the commitment and most remarkable initiatives taken by the banking sector, which is making a decisive contribution to climate action and to the challenge of financing the energy transition.


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