NOTE: TD released a new climate plan in November 2020, which we have reviewed here. While this pledge is seriously lacking in details about how TD plans to decarbonize its financial operations, they intend to release annual reports beginning in 2021.
I recently learned that TD 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 5 out of 200 possible points on in the 2021 Banking on Climate Chaos Report from BankTrack. The same report found that TD has pumped over $157 billion 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 environmental policies and programs — and it does seem like you care more than the other major Canadian banks — but they cannot undo the harm caused by the financing that you continue to provide to the fossil fuel industry. The Net-Zero Pledge which you made in November 2020 is a good first step, but it is very light on details about how you actually intend to decarbonize your portfolio. In order to drive change, the financial industry must decarbonize long before 2050.
I intend to take a long hard look at your first annual progress report on decarbonizing your financial activities. If there is no substantial progress, I will transfer my money to a more responsible institution in April of 2022. As of today, that will likely be a local credit union, however I am open to the possibility of staying with TD or transferring to another major Canadian bank which provides concrete guidelines for rapidly phasing out new loans to fossil fuel companies.
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.