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Credit Agricole to Stop Financing new Fossil Fuel Projects

  • Vows to triple financing of renewable energy projects by 2030
  • Will publish exposure to fossil extraction projects in Q1 2024
  • Pledges to speed up reduction of financed carbon emissions

PARIS, Dec 14 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole, France's second-largest listed bank, said on Thursday it would stop financing new fossil fuel extraction projects and publish its exposure to that sector as part of its new climate targets.

The announcement follows the deal struck at the COP28 climate summit among representatives of nearly 200 countries, who agreed to begin reducing global consumption of fossil fuels to avert the worst of climate change.

Credit Agricole, which counts French oil major TotalEnergies among its top clients, said it would cut financed carbon emissions tied to the oil and gas sectors by 75% by 2030, compared with a previously announced target of a 30% reduction.

The lender also said it would triple its annual financing of renewable energy projects by 2030 to 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) from 1 billion euros currently.

It added it would hike by 80% its investment bank unit's exposure to low-carbon energies between 2020 and 2025, with the aim of reaching 13.3 billion euros.

Credit Agricole's new goals are part of the so-called "net zero 2050 scenario", under which the world aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

Environmental advocacy groups have criticised Credit Agricole for not doing enough to reduce its credit exposure to the oil and gas sectors, pressing the bank to increase transparency on these issues.

Credit Agricole said it would report its total exposure to existing fossil extraction projects in which it is still committed in the first quarter of 2024.

It added that, regarding its financing of energy companies, it would have no corporate financing of independent producers dedicated exclusively to the exploration or production of oil and gas.

"In a context of climate emergency, we need to amplify our commitment towards measures supporting the transformation of society," Chief Executive Philippe Brassac said.

($1 = 0.9176 euros)

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Edmund Klamann and Mark Potter

Source: Reuters

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