Interview with Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas - by...
«Co-build involving all stakeholders in society», Jean-Laurent Bonnafé, Director and CEO of BNP Paribas - La Tribune
Climate: a matter of determination and method
The climate is one of the greatest challenges of our era. The energy transition requires everyone to take brave decisions. Governments are of course on the front line. They understand the context that is unique to their country and its population. Researchers and NGOs have a decisive role to play in maintaining good will and making the debate more rational. Companies are the ones who invent and produce the solutions without which our objective of remaining below 2ºC cannot be achieved.
Faced with this challenge and the unprecedented mobilisation shown at the Paris Accord, banking and finance stakeholders took decisions that have already begun to make them essential players in accelerating the energy transition.
At BNP Paribas, we believe that it is our duty to assist economies and countries that, while starting from the reality of today, are building a true energy transition trajectory. Since 2015 we have been committed to aligning our activities to the 2ºC scenario set out by the International Energy Agency. In two years, our renewable energy financing increased by more than 70%, to EUR 12.3 billion at the end of 2017. At the same time, we are gradually divesting from those energy sources that emit the most greenhouse gases, such as coal and non-conventional hydrocarbons, which has already helped significantly lower the share of fossil fuels in the electricity mix financed by the Group.
There is no doubt about the reality and depth of our commitment; it is part of the future of the planet, countries, people, and naturally, our company.
But, making a successful transition means moving gradually from one world to another, from one set of rules and behaviours to another.
There is no doubt about the reality and depth of our commitment
It requires making efforts to adapt, but it does not mean putting a stop to travel, heating, work, and communication.
For the transition to take place at the pace required by the planet while leaving proper prospects for countries and people, there are two essential conditions: a major wave of technological innovation, and a co-construction effort involving all stakeholders in society. The financial sector must play its full role in this unprecedented collective effort.
making a successful transition means moving gradually from one world to another, from one set of rules and behaviours to another
This is the case when UN Environment brings together stakeholders as different as the Indonesian government, the WWF, BNP Paribas, and Michelin to develop an 88,000 hectare rubber tree plantation in Indonesia made possible with market financing, that creates 16,000 jobs, restores biodiversity, and supplies rubber produced in accordance with strict environmental and social standards.
This is the case when banks, companies, and investors converge on green loans that are indexed to CSR performance, which is recognised as a measure of organisational continuity.
By leveraging on their multiplier effect, banks are full participants in accelerating the fight against climate change, alongside their stakeholders. Only by acting together will we succeed with this transition.
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