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BNP Paribas stops funding shale energy firms, boosts green projects

Oct 11 (Reuters) - BNP Paribas, France's biggest listed bank, said on Wednesday it would no longer work with oil and natural gas companies that primarily do business in shale or oil sands as it plans to boost support for renewable energy projects.

The bank also said that it would no longer finance new projects that are primarily involved in the transportation or export of oil and gas from shale or oil sands.

"We're a long-standing partner to the energy sector and we're determined to support the transition to a more sustainable world," BNP Paribas Chief Executive Jean-Laurent Bonnafe said in a statement.

The bank previously said it planned to spend 15 billion euros ($17.72 billion) to finance renewable energy projects by 2020 and invest 100 million euros in start-ups specializing in energy storage and efficiency.

The lender has already stopped financing coal mines and coal-fired power plants, and no longer supports coal companies that are not planning to diversify their energy sources.

BNP Paribas's smaller rival Societe Generale said in October last year that it would quit financing coal-powered electricity plants from January and increase its support for renewable energy projects. ($1 = 0.8465 euros) (Reporting by Parikshit Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)