BNP Paribas Sued over Fossil Fuel Financing

Friends of the Earth France, Notre Affaire à Tous and Oxfam France are taking French bank BNP Paribas to court over failure to comply with the country’s duty of vigilance law regarding climate change. In a statement, the NGOs said BNP Paribas was the most polluting bank in France, and also the leading European funder of fossil fuel development between 2016 and 2021. The legal action, which is a first, is based on France’s duty of vigilance law, adopted in 2017, which obliges multinationals to take measures to identify and prevent the risks of serious violations of human rights, human health and safety, and the environment, caused by their own activities and those of their subsidiaries and supply chain. Lorette Philippot, Campaigner at Friends of the Earth France, said: “Following strong pressure from civil society, and willingness to protect its own reputation, a month ago BNP Paribas committed to reduce its outstanding financing for oil and gas extraction and production by 2030. However, neither these public promises, nor the official reply given by the bank to the lawyers representing the three organizations, are enough. At this stage, the bank still does not require its clients active in the oil and gas industry to immediately stop developing new fossil fuel projects and engage in a progressive exit from the sector.” 

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