A report by the NGO Oxfam accuses the six main French banks of worsening the climate crisis through massive investments in polluting industries.
Laurent Mignon, chairman of the board of the Banque Populaire-Caisse d'Epargne and chairman of the climate committee of the Banking Federation, defends himself on Tuesday on Europe 1.
Two days before "Green Finance Day" (or Climate Finance Day), the NGO Oxfam denounces the investments of the six main French banks.
BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole or even Société Générale would use the money, deposited by their customers on current accounts or life insurance, to finance highly polluting industries.
According to the NGO, the current strategic choices of financial players, far from respecting the Paris Agreement, place the planet on the path of global warming of +4 degrees by 2100.
"Oxfam is always in its role, to push, probably to exaggerate the situations", defends Laurent Mignon, chairman of the management board of the Banque Populaire-Caisse d'Epargne and chairman of the climate committee of the Banking Federation, Tuesday on Europe 1.
Find the interview with Matthieu Belliard in replay and podcast here
the NGO Oxfam, editor's note
] has the wrong method and target, he continues. The method is not the same as last year, already. Then it is biased because it is based on a global analysis, without going into the granularity of the portfolios: you finance the energy companies, there are some that are making efforts, others not. There, they are taken in a global way. "
"This is a static study essentially based on figures from 2017, adds Laurent Mignon. Fundamentally, the Oxfam study tells us that the world economy today is carbonaceous. But we know that. Our role is to be a major player in making this transition, but it cannot happen overnight. "
"Strong" commitments from the banks
The Chairman of the BPCE Executive Board reviews the strong commitments recently made by French banks in recent years, in particular the end of funding for the coal industry hailed in the Oxfam report.
On the other hand, the NGO denounces insufficient announcements, of "green-washing", since "none of the financial players has publicly committed to reducing its entire carbon footprint."
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"We are taking exclusionary measures on the most polluting energies", assures Laurent Mignon.
"We publish the exposure rate of French banks' financing portfolios on coal: it is 0.18% of our outstandings, 2.3 billion euros. At the same time, we are financing new clean, renewable energies : nearly 41 billion in loans granted by French banks, up 57% in three years. "
"There is no project in renewable energies which does not find funding today," he reassures.
"We have to make a trajectory, this requires a dialogue with our customers and not by stigmatizing them. We cannot pass from one to the other. The evolution of an economy towards a carbon-free economy is the everyone's business: public authorities, businesses, banks, finance. "