French banks, insurers must cut coal exposure - central bank

Credit: REUTERS/CHARLES PLATIAU

French banks and insurers need to cut their exposure to the coal industry, French central bank governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said in a newspaper interview published on Friday.

PARIS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - French banks and insurers need to cut their exposure to the coal industry, French central bank governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau said in a newspaper interview published on Friday.

Investors are increasingly putting pressure on companies to make concrete steps to helping implement the United Nations-backed 2015 Paris Agreement to avert catastrophic global warming.

In France, banks and insurers - which have been required by law to disclose climate risks since 2016 - are also facing pressure from regulators.

"It is absolutely necessary that the risk of financing coal plants is quickly reduced on French banks' balance sheets," Villeroy told newspaper La Croix.

French bank Societe Generale SOGN.PA and French insurer AXA AXAF.PA said this week they would exit the coal sector by 2030 in OECD countries and by 2040 for the rest the world.

French bank BNP Paribas said last week that it would stop financing the thermal coal sector by 2030 in the European Union and 2040 worldwide.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas Editing by Geert De Clercq)

((leigh.thomas@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 4949 5143;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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