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Credit Agricole pledges not to finance new oil extraction projects

12/06/2022 | 03:11am

PARIS (Reuters) - Credit Agricole, France's biggest retail bank, has launched a new business line to focus on climate-related targets, it said on Tuesday, while pledging not to finance new oil extraction projects by 2025.

The lender said it would reduce by 25% its exposure to oil exploration and production by 2025 compared with 2020, while no longer financing new projects. It had previously targeted a 20% reduction.

Its new Crédit Agricole Transitions & Énergies unit will also identify renewable energy assets to help the group become a renewable energy producer, the bank said in a statement.

The banking sector faces increased regulatory and investor pressure to align lending with the world's climate goals to reduce emissions. Credit Agricole, along with peers Societe Generale and BNP Paribas, is a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance - a United Nations-convened group of banks who pledge climate action.

The group said it would finalize its exit from coal by 2030 in the OECD member countries, and by 2040 in the rest of the world.

It added it would set new targets next year for five additional sectors, namely shipping, aviation, steel, residential real estate, and agriculture.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon and Sudip Kar-Gupta and Olivier Sorgho; editing by Jason Neely and Milla Nissi)

© Reuters 2023
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