Statement from Julie Segal, Senior Program Manager, Climate Finance

Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – The Climate Aligned Finance Act (CAFA) advanced one step closer to becoming law, and if passed, it would be the most thorough piece of climate finance legislation in the world. Bringing CAFA into law would better protect our economy, people’s savings, and our shared climate. Over $100bn of Canadian investments are at risk of nose diving in value because of climate-related risks, and a significant amount of Canadian assets remain allocated to polluting industries instead of the green economy. When it comes to financing clean energy, our banks rank in the bottom third globally but they lead in oil and gas investments. CAFA would fix this. 

Our financial markets need to cut emissions and address climate risks, and voluntary commitments to “net-zero” from individual groups will never be sufficient. The market needs rules like CAFA which guarantee that banks and pensions set credible climate plans and are held accountable to deliver on them. With GFANZ membership floundering, policy would turn promises into action.

With wildfires causing severe damage across the country, the Senate Banking Committee must act quickly to call climate experts to testify about the policies required to build a safe climate and a stable financial system. Policymakers in the Senate must quickly drive forward this important piece of financial legislation.

Background: The climate-aligned finance act was tabled in the Canadian Senate on March 24. 2022. Senator Galvez convened a group of expert advisors when drafting the bill including Environmental Defence’s Julie Segal. Today, the Senate advanced the Bill to the next stage of study in the Senate by calling the bill to committee.

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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