On July 2, 2019, French financial institutions, through their professional federations, committed to adopting “a timetable for the overall exit from financing coal activities” by mid-2020. This is an opportunity for a new begining, moving beyond the first coal exit policies adopted ten years ago in France.
If the Paris Financial Center follows through on its commitments, it will set an international example that may drive forward other insitutions ramping up to COP 26 Glasgow, starting with London’s City.
Yet, the outcome is all but certain: the commitment remains non-binding and the implementation of announced measures will only be evaluated at the end of 2020 by commissions constituted in part by financial institutions. Furthermore, no sanctions mechanisms have been proposed.
Now that mid-2020 has passed, we are already faced with the fact that many exit plans are not aligned with a 1.5ºC trajectory and that many insitutions will not follow through.
Only 14 financial groups have adopted a robust coal policy: AG2R La Mondiale, AXA, CNP Assurances, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel, Groupama, La Banque Postale Asset Management, La Financière de l’Echiquier, MACIF, OFI Asset Management, Ostrum AM and SCOR’s investment management division, as well as UniCredit and Desjardins outside France.