October 27, 2016 / 10:35 AM / 3 years ago

SocGen to stop financing coal-fired power plants from January

PARIS, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Societe Generale will quit financing coal-powered electricity plants from January and increase its support for renewable energy projects, the French bank said on Thursday.

SocGen is the third major French bank to cut exposure to coal for climate change reasons after BNP Paribas announced a similar move last year, and Credit Agricole did so on Wednesday.

SocGen said its announcement reinforced a decision it took in 2015 to stop project financing for the development of coal mines and coal-fuelled power plants in high-income OECD countries.

“The bank will also scale back its outstanding loans to the coal industry, with a goal of reducing the proportion of coal-fuelled share in power production financed by the bank to 19 percent by 2020,” the bank said in a statement.

It said it would double project financing in the renewable energy sector, with 10 billion euros ($10.91 billion) of funding allocated to the renewable energy sector by 2020.

“With a longstanding and established presence in the energy sector, the bank intends to be a major financer of the energy transition and undertakes to support its clients in this necessary area,” said Deputy Chief Executive Officer Severin Cabannes.

$1 = 0.9163 euros Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Jason Neely

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