Crédit Agricole moves towards a phase-out of gas and oil finance

Campaigners welcome the announcement but say there is more to do if the bank is to meet its commitments

French co-operative bank Crédit Agricole has announced commitments to move away from oil and gas financing.

2025 Ambitions’ sets out a number of short, medium and long-term goals for France’s second largest bank, including commitments to halve the carbon intensity of its automotive sector portfolio, and reduce CO2 emissions from oil and gas financing by 30%, by 2030.

The plan also includes a commitment to increased investment in low-carbon energies and the launch of a new business line, Transitions & Energies, to support its customers around energy transition. 

The announcements follow Crédit Agricole joining the Net Zero Banking Alliance last June, a coalition which commits its members to achieving global carbon neutrality by 2050.

Crédit Agricole CEO Philippe Brassac said: “The long term that we wish for.. has never been the subject of such consensus, both in public opinion and public policy, around the necessary decarbonisation of the economy.”

Climate NGO and think tank Reclaim Finance welcomed the announcements, but warns they will not be enough for the bank to achieve its full contribution to limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

Calling on Crédit Agricole  to go further, Reclaim director Lucie Pinson said: “We welcome Crédit Agricole’s announcement which acknowledges for the first time the need to phase out oil and gas and to complement their 2030 decarbonsation targets with measures to immediately reduce emissions in the real world.

“We call on Credit Agricole to cement this ambition by becoming the first major French bank, as it was on coal, to end direct and indirect support for new oil and gas fields.”

In 2025 Ambitions, Crédit Agricole states that it will publish a new oil and gas policy in 2022 and 2023 to ensure that its targets are met, in line with the recommendations of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero.

In addition to plans around climate, 2025 Ambitions includes goals to increase its customer base by 1 million by 2025 and produce a net income of more than €6 billion, investment in digital transformation and the launch of  Santé & Territoires, which will  facilitate access to healthcare and ageing services.

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