In response to a petition on Avaaz.org published concerning the project to build a coal plant at Rampal in Bangladesh, we wish to clarify that :
We have absolutely no involvement in the Rampal project in Bangladesh
Granted, through our asset management business and on behalf of our clients, we hold some of the debt issued by Exim Bank of India. This major Indian public financial institution is involved in numerous projects in and outside India, including a number of renewable energies ventures, especially in the solar sector. Exim Bank of India is one of the promoters of the International Solar Alliance launched as part of the COP21 conference on climate change in Paris. There’s nothing unusual in funds focused on leading emerging markets and their institutions investing in Exim Bank of India.
We also play a prominent role in socially responsible investing (SRI) and Amundi, our asset management subsidiary, has introduced a policy of incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into all of its decision-making. As part of this process, we can assure you that we will make Exim Bank of India fully aware of the extremely problematic nature of the Rampal project.
With regard to coal mining, you will recall that Crédit Agricole was the world’s first major bank to decide in May 2015 not to finance any more coal mines around the world or any business or specialised institution active in this field. In autumn 2015, we also made the decision not to provide financing for any more coal-fired thermal power plants in high-income countries. These commitments form part of the Group’s long-term sustainability strategy, and we will continue to refine our investment policies to help meet, together with our clients, the major challenges currently facing the world as effectively as we can.
On a general note, we have added a special clause concerning locations classified as UNESCO World Heritage sites to all our sector policies, irrespective of the specific industry concerned:
Lastly, since late 2011, with around 10 partners we have set up the Livelihoods Carbon Fund , a fund specialising in carbon credits. It provides finance for major reforestation, agroforestry and small rural energy projects in around 10 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Its goal is to restore damaged ecosystems, combat climate change and the degradation of biodiversity so that local populations can live sustainably in their home regions. In return, we earn carbon credits that we use to offset part of our direct carbon footprint. Livelihoods has funded a major mangrove plantation project in the Sundarbans , with over 4,500 hectares of mangroves being planted and 129 villages (around 250,000 people) taking part. These mangroves help to strengthen land defences against the adverse effects of climate events and to repopulate the marine environment for the benefit of local populations. Working together with NEWS, the local NGO supporting us with the project, over 500 people have been trained in maintaining and protecting these new mangroves.