Home French banking sector Overview In July 2019, the operators of the Paris financial centre, represented by Finance for Tomorrow and Paris Europlace, took on new commitments for green, sustainable finance. These included creating a Sustainable Finance Observatory to record the achievements and commitments made by financial organisations in this area.  
 
 
 

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13 april 2021

In July 2019, the operators of the Paris financial centre, represented by Finance for Tomorrow and Paris Europlace, took on new commitments for green, sustainable finance. These included creating a Sustainable Finance Observatory to record the achievements and commitments made by financial organisations in this area.

The new Observatory was launched on Climate Finance Day in October 2019. It is the first of its kind on a global scale, with the ambition of contributing to transparency, oversight and assessment of the financial sector's gradual transformation.

 

Six months later, we called on Anne-Claire Roux, Chef Executive Officer of Finance for Tomorrow, and its Chairman Thierry Déau, to share their views, providing an opportunity to take stock of the Observatory's goals and preliminary results.

One of the Sustainable Finance Observatory's goals is to shine a light of transparency on the Paris financial centre's commitments to aligning with the Paris Agreement, with indicators tracking their progress and assessing how well the commitments are being kept.

To that end, the Observatory highlights two types of data: aggregate data by sector (e.g. amount of green loans issued by French banks) and individual data, divided into four categories:

- Responsible management

- Exclusion of coal sector activities

- Transition to a low-carbon economy

- Responsible products

French banks are already on the road to the ecological transition. They are leading the way in many areas, such as assessment of climate risk, alignment of their loan books with the Paris Agreement and implementation of appropriate methodologies. They are involved in international programmes and coalitions, for example by signing the UNEP FI (United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative) "Principles for Responsible Banking".

French banks are ahead of the pack in terms of coal-sector issues: all major French banks have undertaken to discontinue funding of the coal sector, having set specific timetables published on the Observatory website. In fact, they are pioneers in the field: coal now accounts for just 0.2% of their portfolio, compared with 3.6% for renewable energies, i.e. €40bn in the last few years.

"This is an important number representing a considerable effort, underscoring the determination of French banks to exit the coal sector!"

Anne-Claire Roux, CEO of Finance for Tomorrow



Thierry Déau, Chairman of Finance for Tomorrow and Chairman/CEO and Founder of Méridiam

 
 
 
 
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