Royal Bank of Canada crowned ‘largest fossil financier’

A report claims the bank provided $42.1bn in funding for fossil fuel projects in 2022

Big Zero Report 2023

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) took top spot of the biggest financiers of fossil fuels in the world last year.

That’s according to a report organised by Rainforest Action Network, claiming the bank has gone past JPMorgan to claim top spot.

RBC provided $42.1 billion (£33.6bn) in funding for fossil fuel projects in 2022, the report alleges.

Canada has recently become the target for fossil fuel funding, as many banks have taken the stance to stop financing oil and gas – another Canadian bank, Scotiabank, was also in the top 10 financiers.

The study said that since the Paris Agreement, Canadian banks have lent $862 billion (£689bn) to fossil fuel companies.

Richard Brooks, part of Stand.Earth, which was involved in the report, said: “RBC is moving in completely the wrong direction, dragging our climate ambitions backwards and positioning Canadian banks as fossil fuels’ lenders of last resort.”

JPMorgan stated it gave financing “across the energy sector,” after coming second in the list for the first time in six years.

RBC responded: “The authors of this report do not validate their figures or findings with us and we can’t confirm their conclusions. Further, this report does not measure progress in meeting our climate goals. We are confident in our ongoing engagement with our clients and our climate strategy.

“This includes setting initial interim emissions reduction targets for lending in three key sectors which inform our lending decisions, adding climate considerations to executive compensation and establishing the RBC Climate Action Institute, focused on advancing climate policy research and action.”

Scotiabank has been approached for a comment.

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