Canadian banks inundated with climate reporting requests
This article was first published on Proxy Insight Online on November 22, 2021. For more information about the product, click here.
Canadian financial institutions are set to face multiple shareholder requests for enhanced climate-related reporting in the 2022 proxy season.
Investors for Paris Compliance filed proposals at Toronto Dominion Bank (TDC) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), urging both companies to update their criteria for “low carbon” financing to preclude fossil fuel activity and projects facing “significant opposition” from Indigenous peoples.
Shareholders expressed concern regarding the potential reputation risks both banks expose themselves to by financing controversial projects, such as the Enbridge Line 3 tar sands pipeline expansion.
S&P 500 banks Wells Fargo and Citigroup have similarly been criticized by investors for financing the Enbridge expansion, which poses significant risks to the land, water, and cultural rights of several Anishinaabe tribes.
Investors for Paris Compliance filed a proposal at the Bank of Nova Scotia, asking the company to adopt a lobbying policy that aligns its public policy position with its net-zero commitments.
The proponent criticized Nova Scotia for being the only major Canadian bank with a membership to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP).
British Columbia Government and Service Employees Union also filed a resolution at RBC, seeking a commitment to cease participation in or to enable financing, lending, or merger & acquisition (M&A) advisory services to pollution-intensive asset privatization transactions.
Bank of Montreal (BMO) will face a proposal from Investors for Paris Compliance and John Harrington, urging the Canadian bank to adopt a policy by the end of 2022 in which the company ensures that its financing does not contribute to new fossil fuel supplies that would be inconsistent with the International Energy Association’s (IEA) 2050 net-zero scenario.
These proposals come shortly after the Canadian Securities Administration (CSA) launched a consultation on proposed climate-related reporting policies.
Under the proposed policy, Canadian-listed issuers may be required to disclose their Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions on a “comply or explain” basis. Companies would also be required to disclose short-, medium-, and long-term climate-related risks and opportunities and their impacts on company business, operations, and financial planning.