Canadian banks among the largest investors in (…)

As the Reporterre website points out, “in 2023 alone, the hottest year on record, the largest banking institutions on the planet have injected $705 billion into fossil fuels.” Among the 60 banking institutions included in the ranking presented by the report, the Royal Bank of Canada comes in 7th place with 256 billion invested between 2016 and 2023. Scotia Bank comes in 11th place with invested amounts totaling more than 192 billion. dollars. Then, the Toronto Dominion Bank comes in 16th place in the world with total investments of more than 178 billion during the same period. CIBC is not to be outdone as it ranks 21st with investments of more than 134 billion. RBC (7th place), Scotia Bank (10th place) and TD Bank (11th place) thus appear in the ranking entitled the 12 bastards. The first two are among the 12 largest investors in fossil fuels since 2016.

The report also highlights major fossil fuel exploitation projects. Among these projects, the Coastal gaslink pipeline, which includes investments from RBC, TD and the Bank of Montreal, ranks third among the most important in the world. The Transd Mountain pipeline comes in 4th place in this ranking, supported by investments from the same trio of banks. At the bottom of these projects are three coal mining projects from the Glencore company supported by RBC and other foreign banks: Elk Valley resources Cokin Coal Mines (Sparwood, British Columbia) supported in particular by the RBC, the Greenhill coal mine (Elkford, British Columbia) of the same Glencore supported again by the RBC in 45th place and the Line Creek coal (Kootenay, British Columbia) mine in 46th place.

When it comes to investments in oil sands exploitation, 5 of the 6 largest investors in the banking sector are Canadian. They have invested more than 2 billion dollars in 2023 in this sector. Since 2016, more than 44 billion dollars will have been invested in the exploitation of the most polluting fossil fuels.

As for projects targeting the Arctic, Canadian banks are cautious. The Royal Bank of Canada ranks 30th in the world among banking sector investors in this type of project with investments totaling $209 million. CIBC invested $172 million and came 32nd in this group. Scotia Bank (36th place, $127 million), Toronto Dominion (37th place, $116 million).

Abroad, Canadian banks are quite active in projects located in the Amazon, a sensitive territory. Scotia Bank has invested $472 million (8th in the world) since 2016, Royal Bank $208 million (11th in the world), CIBC $93 million (17th in the world) and TD $13 million (29th in the world) world rank).

Finally, Canadian banks have a strong presence in deep-water exploitation projects. The Royal Bank has invested $998 million (22nd in the world) since 2016 in this sector. Follows Toronto Dominion with investments of $370 million (29th worldwide), CIBC with $195 million (36th worldwide) and Bank of Montreal $96 million (41st worldwide).

Faced with such a pile of figures, we can only conclude that banks, Canadian or otherwise, have no interest in withdrawing from the exploitation of fossil fuels. It is their survival that is at stake. We can only conclude that nothing will be able to convince them to act in favor of a low carbon society. On the contrary, they have every interest in continuing their work and pushing forward with projects that destroy the environment. They will have to be forced to withdraw.

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