On October 11, BNP Paribas, the 2nd largest bank in France and 4th largest corporate lender to Enbridge LLC, announced it will cease all funding of companies whose primary business is tar sands, fracking, or Arctic drilling.
The news comes on the tail of several other banks divesting from the project level financing of Energy Transfer Partnership, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
Since last fall, several delegations of indigenous peoples have brought the stories of human rights abuses that occurred during the resistance at Standing Rock at the hands of ETP to the financial industry. Unarmed men, women, and children were attacked with dogs wielded by unlicensed Dakota Access private security, and a series of leaked reports has revealed a far-ranging counterintelligence operation designed to suppress, infiltrate, and demonize demonstrators exercising their first amendment rights.
A groundswell of resistance continues in Minnesota, as does worldwide focus on divestment. On October 23-25, an indigenous-led global day of action will take place in tandem with the meeting of 95 banks in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to vote on a policy that upholds indigenous peoples rights to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent. In Minnesota, all 5 impacted tribes along the impacted route have not given consent and have formally intervened into the regulatory process , and recently announced their own environmental review process for Line 3, the Anishinaabe Cumulative Impact Assessement.
BNP Paribas takes further measures to accelerate its support of the energy transition
The BNP Paribas Group will no longer do business with companies whose principal business activity is the exploration, production, distribution, marketing or trading of oil and gas from shale and/or oil from tar sands.
BNP Paribas is also ceasing financing of projects that are primarily involved in the transportation or export of oil and gas from shale or oil from tar sands.
The Group will not finance any oil or gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region.
BNP Paribas will continue to actively support clients in the energy sector who are committed to being part of the energy transition.
These new measures complement the Group’s previous decisions to reduce its support for coal mines and coal-fired power generation, to increase its total financing for renewable energy to €15 billion by 2020, and to set aside €100 million for investment in start-ups working on innovative solutions for energy transition.
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