Factbox-Canadian banks’ approaches to getting to ‘net-zero financing emissions’ by 2050

Some of Canada’s biggest banks have announced plans to achieve “net-zero financing emissions,” that is, reducing funding for emission-producing activities in their lending and underwriting books, by 2050. An outline of how they intend to get there. For a related story:

RBC said in February it aims to achieve net-zero emissions in its lending operations by 2050 and increased its sustainable financing commitment to C$500 billion, from its previous C$100 billion, by 2025. It is working on setting interim targets and expects to measure and disclose financed emissions for key sectors starting in 2022.

It is also in discussions to determine whether to join the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, a spokesman said.

TD announced plans for net zero emissions by 2050 in November.

It plans to disclose more details about its progress and some interim goals in its 2021 report, expected to be released next year, said Andrea Barrack, TD’s global head of sustainability and corporate citizenship. It has contributed over C$56 billion of its 2030 low-carbon financing target of C$100 billion.

BMO made its net-zero commitment in March and doubled its sustainable finance commitment to C$300 billion by 2025. It said it will set an intermediate target for emissions for 2030, without saying when this will be released and will report progress annually beginning this year.

CEO Darryl White cautioned against “disruptive change” when BMO announced its net-zero goal. BMO is also in active discussions to determine its participation in the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, a spokesman said.

Scotiabank has not made a formal net-zero commitment, but Chief Executive Brian Porter said in February the bank’s senior leadership is assessing pathways to be net-zero by 2050.

Its plans for green-house-gas emissions reduction targets in its financing activities include establishing an emissions baseline and researching ways to net zero, a spokesman said. The bank has not set a time for releasing an interim target, but it will report progress annually.

Scotiabank has also committed C$100 billion to reduce climate change impacts by 2025, and has so far mobilized C$28 billion.

CIBC has not made a public 2050 net-zero commitment, but the traditional energy sector is “working diligently to reduce green-house gas emissions,” CEO Victor Dodig told Reuters.

The bank is developing tools that will help align financial decision-making to the transition to a low-carbon economy, a spokeswoman said.

CIBC has committed to C$150 billion in sustainable financing by 2027.