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The activist group has urged investors to use their shareholder rights to push banks to foreclose funding for oil and gas expansion.

London:

European banks, while pledging to tackle carbon emissions, are massively funding companies involved in expanding oil and gas production, activist group ShareAction said on Monday.

A total of 25 lenders, led by HSBC, Barclays and BNP Paribas, provided fossil fuel groups with a total of $55 billion (48.5 billion euros) last year, ShareAction said in a report.

The activist group has urged investors to use their shareholder rights to push banks to foreclose funding for oil and gas expansion.

“Last year, shareholders helped push banks to adopt or tighten restrictions on coal financing,” said Kelly Shields, head of banking standards at ShareAction.

“This year, they need to replicate that success with oil and gas expansion.”

In response to the findings, HSBC said in a statement it was committed to working with its “customers to achieve a transition to a thriving low-carbon economy“.

Barclays said it continued to focus on its “ambition to become a net zero bank by 2050”.

He said he had “restrictions on directly funding new oil and gas exploration projects in the Arctic or funding companies primarily engaged in the exploration and production of oil and gas in this region. “.

ShareAction said there was little evidence to show banks want to help customers shift away from fossil fuels.

“Research by ShareAction revealed that Danske Bank and NatWest are the only (European) banks to publicly ask some of their oil and gas clients to publish transition plans by a specific date.”

He said France’s La Banque Postale is the only lender to require customers to rule out oil and gas expansion.

Reacting to the study, BNP Paribas said it was providing significant funding to European energy companies showing “strong investments in the development of renewable energy”.

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