At the 8th Climate Finance Day, Bruno Le Maire called on financial players to demonstrate greater transparency. The French Finance Minister believes that the banks' efforts in favor of the climate are insufficient.
Some forty environmental activists present
The Climate Finance Day took place in Paris on October 27, in the absence of many of the sector's "heavyweights", whereas last year's participants were able to talk to event regulars such as Benoît Bazin, CEO of Saint-Gobain, Philippe Brassac, CEO of Crédit Agricole SA, Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA, and Laurent Mignon, Chairman of the Management Board of Groupe BPCE.
In the absence of a number of top executives during the opening plenary session, Augustin de Romanet, CEO of ADP Group and Chairman of Paris Europlace, thanked those present.
In the morning, some forty activists from the NGOs Friends of the Earth and Alternatiba invaded the site to denounce a "greenwashing" summit. They poured black paint on the steps to simulate oil, and threw smoke bombs to represent gas. Activists carried banners accusing BNP Paribas of financing new projects using fossil fuels.
🔴[ACTION IN PROGRESS] 🔴- Alternatiba Paris (@alternatiba75) October 27, 2022
✊ 60 activists from @alternatiba75 and @amisdelaterre invited themselves to #CFD2022 to denounce @BNPParibas ' support for fossil fuel development and demand a real climate policy from them. #AffaireBNP pic.twitter.com/2TUem5a0Xk
" I'm sure that without this fear of activists, personalities we'll see on video today, would be here with us ," said Augustin de Romanet.
Efforts deemed insufficient
Bruno Le Maire, who was absent from the meeting, sent a video in which he criticizes the financial sector for its lack of ambition in terms of climate change.
" We're not there yet. We need to go faster, stronger and be more transparent," insisted the Minister.
This is nothing new. Despite the commitments made by the major groups, the results are not as expected.
A report recently published by the AMF and the ACPR on the follow-up to the assessment of the climate commitments made by players on the Paris financial markets states that " the financing of coal is decreasing at an unequal pace depending on the financial players, and the ambition of sector policies on other fossil fuels does not show any notable inflection ".
French banks on the offensive
For their part, banks continue to demonstrate their efforts in favor of the climate. Two days before the event, in a press release, the French Banking Federation (FBF) stated that loans to fossil fuels now accounted for just 25 billion euros, or 0.27% of banks' total assets, and that financing for renewable energies had risen to over 100 billion euros by the end of 2021.
Despite the war in Ukraine and the energy crisis, French banks want to show that they are continuing their efforts in the ecological transition. These announcements have received a cool reception from NGOs.