Big banks financed 1.9B tonnes of emissions in 2020: Oxfam Canada study

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A study by Oxfam Canada estimates the emissions financed in 2020 by eight of Canada’s largest financial institutions totalled around 1.9 billion tonnes.

Oxfam Canada, which produced the report in collaboration with non-profit research group l’Institut de recherche en economie contemporaine, says the total is more than double the total carbon footprint of Canada as a whole.

The report builds on studies such as the Banking on Climate Chaos report, which have highlighted the dollar figures banks have directed towards fossil fuel funding that run into the hundreds of billions.

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Institutions covered in the Oxfam Canada report include TD, RBC, Scotiabank, BMO, CIBC, National Bank, Desjardins and Laurentian Bank, with TD topping the list by funding the equivalent of 446 million tonnes of carbon dioxide followed by RBC at 369 million tonnes.

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Canada’s biggest banks have committed to reaching net zero financed emissions by 2050, but have also talked about the importance of continued funding to the fossil fuel industry throughout the transition to neutral emissions.

Oxfam Canada says emission reduction projects are hugely overshadowed by emitting ones, with about five tonnes in emission savings through the funding of things like renewable energy and efficiencies for every 100 tonnes of greenhouse gasses the banks have financed.

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