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Five major Canadian banks accused of money laundering

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Pipes from Enbridge's new Line 3.

Radio-Canada

An organization defending the interests of shareholders has filed a complaint against five major Canadian banks to the Financial Markets Authority and the Ontario Securities Commission.

The Investors for Paris Compliance group (I4PC) points out that BMO, Scotiabank, CIBC, TD and RBC have committed to achieving carbon neutrality in their portfolios by 2050. /p>

They have made sustainable finance commitments, or a similarly worded initiative, as a central means of achieving their goal of net zero emissions, a goal worth hundreds of billions of dollars. This suggests to a reasonable investor that these banks are developing a serious response to business risk, writes Investors for Paris Compliance in its complaint (New window).

None of them, however, publish information on the results of their strategies. On the contrary, the complaint documents several cases where sustainable finance operations increased emissions instead of reducing them.

The plaintiff cites several examples, including a $1 billion loan from banks RBC and CIBC to Enbridge for the Line 3 pipeline expansion project, which will have the same impact on climate as #x27;adding 50 new coal-fired power plants, according to the investor group.

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The absence of clear standards for sustainable financing is aggravating the crisis rather than remedying it, explains I4PC.

At best, finance sustainability as currently practiced by Canada's big banks is a $2 trillion placebo at a time when we need powerful drugs to reduce emissions, Matt Price, managing director of Investors for Paris Compliance.

At worst, this is greenwashing of carbon-intensive companies, which misleads investors and the public.

A quote from Matt Price, Managing Director of Investors for Paris Compliance

In response to Radio-Canada's request, Canadian Bankers Association spokesperson Maggie Cheung said banks in Canada meet standards for environmental, social and governance reporting in the northern market. -American and that they comply with the rules and regulations governing disclosure.

Canadian banks recognize the importance of the role the financial sector plays in a smooth transition to a low-carbon future.

A quote from Maggie Cheung, spokesperson for the Canadian Bankers Association< /blockquote>

I4PC calls on the Ontario Securities Commission and the Quebec Financial Markets Authority to investigate the practices of sustainable finance of the five banks and to force them to share the impacts of their strategies on emissions.

With information from Philippe de Montigny

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