French bank BNP Paribas announced on Tuesday that it intends to cut its oil extraction and production funding by 80% by 2030.

According to the bank’s statement, it discontinued financing oil projects in 2016 as part of its efforts to decrease carbon emissions and fulfil climate targets. It said the announcement made on Tuesday would increase the rate at which it minimises outstanding funding for oil extraction and production.

By 2030, BNP Paribas hopes to get its oil extraction and production funding down to less than $1.08bn from $5.77bn as of late September 2022. 

At the end of the same month, BNP Paribas’ outstanding loans for low-carbon energy production were over $30.5bn, about 20% greater than those for fossil fuel development.

In 2022, the bank “secured a leading global position in green bond structuring and placement”, valued at $19.5bn.

Jean Laurent Bonnafé, CEO of BNP Paribas, said: “In 2015, when the Paris agreement was signed, financing for the production of low-carbon energy only accounted for a limited part of BNP Paribas’ loan portfolio dedicated to energy production. By 2030, it will represent nearly four-fifths of this loan portfolio.”

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By GlobalData

The statement from BNP Paribas said that the bank would also reduce outstanding funding for gas extraction and production by more than 30% by 2030.

According to Reuters, protesters from the ecological movement Extinction Rebellion gathered outside a BNP Paribas headquarters in Paris last week. They protested the bank’s financing of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project, running from Uganda to a Tanzanian port.

The bank’s announcement comes after three activist organisations threatened to sue the bank for breaching agreements to stop funding new oil and gas projects. They gave the bank until 26 January to answer, news agency France24 reported.