Investors Challenge European Banks on Oil and Gas

A group of 30 investors representing over US$1.5 trillion in assets under management have written to Barclays, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale, calling on them to stop directly financing new oil and gas fields by the end of this year. Led by UK NGO ShareAction, the investors said new oil and gas fields will jeopardise the global transition to net zero, holding back the adoption of renewable energy across Europe. “We’re running out of time to avert the worst consequences of climate disaster, and the banking sector is still struggling to implement the bare minimum,” said Anders Schelde, CIO of AkademikerPension, adding that “this is unacceptable in 2023”. After HSBC, the contacted banks were the largest financiers of top oil and gas expanders between 2016-21, ShareAction noted. “These investor-backed letters should be a wake-up call to banks that have made net zero commitments,” said Jeanne Martin, Head of ShareAction’s Banking Programme. “First, they must stop directly financing new oil and gas fields. Second, banks must urgently turn their attention to the companies that are enabling new oil and gas fields being discovered and developed […] direct financing is only the tip of the iceberg.”

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