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BNP Paribas to cut ties with shale, oil tar sands firms

BNP Paribas SA said it would no longer do business with firms whose primary activity involves oil and gas from shale and/or oil from tar sands as part of its efforts to help combat climate change.

The French lender will also cease financing projects that are mainly involved in the transportation and export of oil and gas from shale and oil from tar sands, and has also ruled out financing for oil or gas exploration or production projects in the Arctic region.

The bank said the decision will complement its earlier pledge to reduce its support for coal mines and coal-fired power generation, to boost its total financing for renewable energy to €15 billion by 2020, and to invest €100 million in startups working on innovative solutions for energy transition.

"BNP Paribas will gradually cease to finance a significant number of players who are not actively part of a transition to a lower carbon economy [and] will continue to support its clients in the energy sector who are taking significant steps towards energy transition," the bank said in an Oct. 11 statement.