Thursday, April 13, 2023

Shame! Canadian banks are world's top fossil fuel funders - Royal Bank the worst offender

What a blight on Canada's reputation!  The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has the dubious distinction of being the Number.1 financier of fossil fuel development around the world.  The other four of Canada's big banks - Bank of Montreal (RBS), Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) and the Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) - are among the top offenders.  The worst offender by far, however, is the Royal Bank of Canada.

According to the annual Banking on Climate Chaos, a report from a coalition of environmental groups, Canada's five big banks are included among the Top 20 oil and gas funders globally, although  RBC is the biggest culprit.  The report reveals that between 2016 and 2021, the Royal Bank was the fifth largest fossil fuel funder.  Last year was the fist year in which RBC committed the most money to fossil fuel projects around the world, providing over $43 billion US.

The other major Canadian banks are also very adept at damaging the environment.  Scotiabank placed ninth worldwide in 2021with $29.5 billion US in fossil fuel funding.  TD ranked tenth with about $29 billion US, while Bank of Montreal was 15th with $19.3 billion US.  CIBC placed 16th at $17.9 billion.

Keep in mind that we are dealing with billions of dollars of funding to the fossil fuel industry.  Taken collectively, the five largest Canadian banks doled out a whopping $140 billion US in support of oil and gas projects globally.  That, my friends, is not chicken feed.  That is Big Money.  Earth Day is fast approaching.  It falls on Saturday, April 22nd.  The Big Five, especially RBC, should do some serious soul searching about their contribution to climate disaster. They should ask themselves whey they can't seem to divest themselves of their fossil fuel habit.  

This addiction to fossil fuel is not just a Canadian issue.  According to corporate data from 60 of the world's largest commercial banks, many have taken steps in the wrong direction.  Instead of cutting back on fossil fuel funding projects since the 2016 global agreement to limit greenhouse gases, these banks have actually increased that funding by a staggering $3.8 trillion US in the last five years.  How dishonourable!  How reprehensible!  How immoral!

- Joanne

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