(Montreal) The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) was the largest funder of fossil fuel projects globally in 2022, according to data from the latest Banking on Climate Chaos study, released Thursday by a consortium of environmental groups.
The Royal’s financial aid to the fossil fuel sector reached US$42 billion in 2022, according to the study, up US$3 billion from 2021.
Also according to the study, since the signing of the Paris Climate Accord in 2016, RBC has provided more than US$253.98 billion in financing to fossil fuel companies.
Five Canadian banks in the “top 15”
Five Canadian banks are among the top 15 global fossil fuel lenders for 2022.
Scotiabank is in seventh place with investments of 29.5 billion, closely followed by TD Bank in eighth place (29 billion).
The Bank of Montreal (19 billion) ranks 13th and the CIBC is 14th (17 billion).
These Canadian banks are part of the Net Zero banking alliance, an initiative of the United Nations.
Banks joining this alliance must commit to aligning their loan and investment portfolios towards achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, as well as setting intermediate goals for 2030 or earlier.
Passing through Montreal for COP15 in December, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, called for a reform of the financial system and asked banks in particular to ensure that their investments promote the conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity.
“Our call is not just for Canadian banks, it’s for the financial sector in general. It is necessary that banks and financial institutions in general and the organizations that hold them […] accelerate their change, that they move from financing fossil fuels to financing the green economy,” said the Secretary General of the United Nations. at a press conference.
For the year 2022, the American bank JPMorgan Chase finds itself in second position in the Banking on Climate Chaos ranking, behind the Royal.
Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citi are also among the top five fossil fuel financiers for 2022.