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Charles Kennedy

Charles Kennedy

Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com

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Oil Sands Financing From Canadian Banks Doubles

  • Oil sands saw a 51-percent jump in financing between 2020 and 2021.
  • Bank financing for 30 top oil sands production companies and six key oil sands pipeline companies increased their lending in 2021 by nearly $9 billion.
  • The 60 largest banks in the world poured as much as $742 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2021 alone

Despite pledges of net-zero portfolios, Canadian banks doubled their funding for Canada’s oil sands production and related projects to $16.8 billion last year, according to data from a recent report by environmental groups crunched by the Financial Times.

Bank financing for 30 top oil sands production companies and six key oil sands pipeline companies increased their lending in 2021 by nearly $9 billion, according to the data, compiled by FT.

Between 2016, the year after the Paris Agreement was signed, and 2021, the major Canadian banks financed Canadian oil sands projects with the most money, the report from Oil Change International, Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Reclaim Finance, Sierra Club, and Urgewald showed.

Overall in all 60 banks—not only Canadian—examined by the report, oil sands saw a 51-percent jump in financing between 2020 and 2021, to $23.3 billion, the report showed. The biggest jump in tar sands financing last year came from Canadian banks RBC and TD.

“RBC was the worst banker of tar sands in 2021,” the report said.

“Canadian banks continue to be overrepresented in the dirty dozen top fossil banks since the Paris Agreement, with RBC, Scotiabank, and TD all in the top 12. Remarkably, this trio, plus Bank of Montreal and CIBC, all increased their fossil fuel financing from 2020 to 2021,” the report reads.

Between 2016 and 2021, TD financed oil sands with a total of $27.454 billion, with $5.424 billion in 2021 alone. TD has been the biggest financier of oil sands since 2016, followed closely by RBC, which poured $27.445 billion into the financing of oil sands, including $5.445 billion in 2021, according to the report. Another Canadian bank, CIBC, was third with $13.682 billion in financing for oil sands since 2016, and JP Morgan Chase was fourth with $10.879 billion.

Overall, the report found that the 60 largest banks in the world poured as much as $742 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2021 alone.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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