In February of 2021, RBC joined other banks in pledging to achieve net-zero lending by 2050. However, their plan gives no concrete details on their plans for lending over the next few years and many of the projects they are funding today will still be operational in 2050. Read more here.
I recently learned that RBC is one of the top funders of fossil fuel expansion and therefore a direct threat to future generations. I found it very concerning that your bank received 17.5 out of 200 possible points on in the 2021 Banking on Climate Chaos Report from BankTrack. The same report found that RBC has pumped over $208 billion CAD into fossil fuels since the Paris Accord was signed. That money is being used to pump CO2 into our atmosphere, putting millions of lives at risk and driving the 6th mass extinction. I also noted with surprise that your bank refused to sign the U.N. Declaration on Responsible Banking which has been signed by more than 100 major banks around the world.
I am aware of your recent pledge to stop lending to fossil fuel companies by 2050, but I am concerned about the loans you are making now and in the next few years. RBC is one of the largest funders of coal and other fossil fuels in the world so what your bank does in the next few years is hugely important. For this reason, I have decided to transfer my money to a more responsible institution on Earth Day 2022 if your bank does not significantly enhance its fossil fuel lending policies.
In particular, I hope your bank will be able to commit to the following:
- publicly commit to immediately end your support for all new fossil fuel projects, including exploration, extraction, transportation and power
- publish a robust plan for phasing out your support for all existing fossil fuel projects and companies on a timetable consistent with what is necessary to meet the Paris targets.
- ensure that you do not lend to companies that operate in Indigenous territories without free and informed prior consent.
I know that, as a branch manager, you don’t have much influence on the bank’s fossil fuel policies, but I ask that you pass my concerns up to your district manager and let me know how they respond.