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PARIS, Feb 15 (Reuters) – France’s BNP Paribas said on Monday it would not finance customers producing or buying beef or soybeans from land in the Amazon cleared or converted after 2008.
BNP, which outlined a policy to fight deforestation in the Amazon and the Cerrado regions, also said it would encourage its clients not to produce or buy beef or soybeans from Cerrado land cleared or converted land after Jan. 1 2020.
The bank, France’s largest listed lender, said it would only provide financial products or services to companies – producers, meat conditioners and traders – with a strategy to achieve zero deforestation in their production and supply chains by 2025 at the latest.
“Financial institutions exposed to the agricultural sector in Brazil must contribute to this fight against deforestation,” BNP Paribas said in a statement.
European lenders like Credit Suisse, Dutch bank ING and BNP Paribas committed last month to stop financing trade in crude oil from Ecuador after pressure from campaigners aiming to protect the Amazon rainforest.
Indigenous leaders battling to prevent further oil exploration in their territory said the banks’ role had made them complicit in oil spills, violations of land rights and the destruction of rainforest by Ecuador’s oil industry. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)