COP26 : France signs a statement reaffirming its commitment to end international public financing of fossil fuel projects

Le Vendredi 12 novembre 2021

On the occasion of COP26, Minister for the Ecological Transition Barbara Pompili, together with Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister for the Economy, Finance and Recovery, announced France's decision to join the agreement ending public funding of some fossil fuel projects abroad by the end of 2022. For France, this declaration covers both bilateral official development assistance and export finance. In this respect, the COP26 statement builds on the momentum initiated by France through the international coalition on Export Finance for Future (E3F).

This agreement corresponds to the longstanding commitments made by France, with a pioneering pathway. In January 2020, France decided to put an immediate end to all public support for research and exploitation projects for coal and unconventional hydrocarbons. The government also defined a trajectory for ending export finance for research and exploitation projects in 2025 for oil projects and in 2035 for natural gas projects. On the downstream side, we aim to improve the carbon balance of the energy mix of the targeted countries and we only finance the comparatively best projects at the national level.

France believes that this agreement, which covers fossil fuel projects not equipped with greenhouse gas emission mitigation mechanisms, is a new step in the necessary decarbonisation of export finance, to which the Government is firmly committed. In 2022 France will reassess its trajectory in accordance with the commitment made by Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy, Finance and Recovery. On this basis, France will continue to work on proposals to accelerate the improvement of the carbon balance of the energy mix of countries receiving export support.

Overall, this new commitment is in line with France's resolve to move away from dependence on fossil fuels, initiated in 2017 with our law banning the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons on its territory. It is also in this respect that France was one of the founding members of the international Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA), alongside other Governments determined to set an end date, so as to accelerate the phasing out of fossil fuel production.

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