A group of investors has filed a complaint with the Financial Markets Authority and the Ontario Securities Commission against five Canadian banks that have made commitments to reduce their emissions to zero while continuing to invest in companies that increase their polluting emissions.
According to Investors for Paris Compliance, which closely monitors the environmental commitments of Canadian public companies, the banks in question have all set quantified objectives in terms of reducing emissions, but they provide no information on the results of their strategy.
“There are, however, examples of sustainable finance operations that have led to an increase in emissions,” the complaint states. To summarize, the practice of greenwashing in this sector is widely recognized.”
The financial institutions targeted by the complaint are Royal Bank, BMO, TD, CIBC and Scotia.
“Several examples show that sustainable finance operations carried out by banks have contributed to increasing emissions rather than reducing them,” according to the complaint, which specifies that the majority of sustainable finance operations are not public.
Investors for Paris Compliance still points out that the examples, including a loan of one billion linked to sustainable development by the Royale and CIBC banks to Enbridge which was used for the expansion project of a pipeline, Line 3, “which we estimates it will have the same climate impact as adding 50 new coal-fired power plants.”
The organization is calling on regulators to investigate the five banks’ sustainable finance practices and force them to disclose the impact of the measures they list in their annual emissions reports.