11 October 2017 (TORONTO) — French bank BNP Paribas has publicly stated that it will no longer finance “pipelines that primarily carry oil and gas from shale and/or oil from tar sands,” and will sever “business relations with companies that derive the majority of their revenue from these activities.” This policy would exclude BNP Paribas from providing project financing for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion, Keystone XL, and Line 3 Expansion pipelines. The announcement further states the bank “will no longer do business with companies focused on oil and gas from shale and oil from tar sands operations” and “will not finance any oil or gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region.”

Alex Speers-Roesch, an Oil Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada:

“We welcome BNP Paribas’ announcement that they will not lend to tar sands pipeline projects or to projects for the transportation and export of tar sands and shale oil and gas. We also welcome their intention to move away from projects related to Arctic oil and gas exploration and production. This is a testament to the diligent work of Indigenous activists, environmental groups, concerned citizens and everyone advocating to reform the financial sector. More and more banks and investment funds recognize that in order to preserve their reputations and long-term financial performance, tar sands pipelines and other extreme fossil fuel projects are not the way to go. Banks such as TD and Desjardins, that stake their reputations on being socially responsible, should expect growing resistance if they continue to fund pipelines such as Kinder Morgan. We look forward to further details on BNP Paribas’ policy, and confirmation that it includes no loopholes that would permit general corporate credit facilities to be used for the construction or operation of any tar sands pipeline or other projects incompatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Diana Best, Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace USA:

“The world has moved on since these tar sands projects were first proposed. Projects like the Keystone XL pipeline have been fought and rejected by broad, diverse coalitions, and they will continue to carry huge risk to their investors. This move by BNP Paribas is the most recent indication that the financial community has begun to see that risk. We expect banks like JPMorgan Chase, who have historically backed tar sands pipelines, to come clean with themselves and their investors and cease funding all dirty, doomed tar sands projects.”

John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK:

“While BNP Paribas joins other international institutions in taking steps to exit the Canadian tar sands, Barclays decides to jump the other way and fund the Kinder Morgan tar sands pipeline. The bank needs to urgently change course before it makes further disastrous lending decisions on other tar sands pipelines crossing North America.”

BNP previously participated in revolving credit facilities to Kinder Morgan and Enbridge and has underwritten millions in bonds from Enbridge. In March, BNP Paribas sold its stake in the Dakota Access Pipeline project loan.  The BNP Paribas announcement follows Dutch bank ING’s confirmation that its oil sands policy excludes financing tar sands pipelines and Sweden’s largest pension fund, AP7, announcing that it will divest from TransCanada on the grounds that its proposed pipelines in Canada and the US were incompatible with the Paris Agreement.

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BNP Paribas Press Release – Link:
https://group.bnpparibas/en/press-release/bnp-paribas-takes-measures-accelerate-support-energy-transition

Media Contacts:

Jesse Firempong, Greenpeace Canada, 778-996-6549jesse.firempong@greenpeace.org

Loujain Kurdi, Greenpeace Canada, 514-577-6657loujain.kurdi@greenpeace.org