Crédit Agricole under fire for coal deals

Crédit Agricole became the first major bank to exclude coal developers and to request an exit plan from the sector in 2019, but three years later, the bank has failed to properly enforce its policy.

According to Reclaim Finance, despite its commitments, Crédit Agricole has continued to finance companies, such as Glencore and Marubeni, despite their coal mines and coal power plant developments around the world.

Two years after the announcement, an in-depth scrutiny of Crédit Agricole transactions shows that several of them are clearly in violation of the policy: Crédit Agricole has recently funded several companies which do not have a coal exit plan in line with the bank’s criteria and are still developing new coal plans.

When asked to comment on these problematic transactions, the bank told Reclaim Finance that it considered them in line with its policy and that it was “in constant dialogue with these customers to explain Crédit Agricole’s expectations and regularly discuss their climate strategy”.

However, the fact that all these companies have in no way given up on these coal sector development projects, and that their exit strategy is still far from the imperatives dictated by climate science and by the bank’s own policy, Reclaim Finance believes should have been enough to place them in 2020 on the bank’s watchlist.

Reclaim Finance is calling on the French government and presidential candidates to commit to regulating the practices of financial actors. In particular, to prohibit the financing of certain activities, ensure verification of the application of voluntary policies and sanction policy breaches.

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