Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat – A report launched today by the global think tank InfluenceMap, a non-profit which holds corporations accountable for climate performance, shows Canada’s big banks are failing to deliver on their own climate promises and creating greater financial risks for Canadians as a result. Despite having made commitments to reduce the emissions from their investments and reach net-zero by 2050, Canada’s banks have instead increased their funding in risky oil and gas assets every year since 2020. 

The banks are also lobbying against climate-related policies. The Canadian Bankers’ Association (CBA) explicitly advocated against climate-related financial policy in their testimony on the Climate-Aligned Finance Act. In addition, the Business Council of Canada (BCC), an industry group to which the banks belong, has pushed the federal government to label fossil fuels as green under the federal government’s proposed sustainable finance taxonomy (a classification system for green investments). By lobbying the government to give oil and gas an artificial green label, and by advocating against the Climate-Aligned Finance Act, the CBA and BCC are hampering progress on climate change policy. Worsening climate change puts communities, homes and businesses at risk from costly dangerous weather events. Given the banks’ own commitments to reduce climate-related emissions, the banks should use their power to support climate solutions and not work against them. Canada cannot meet its climate targets while its banks are pushing the government to greenwash climate-related and financial-related policy. 

“Canadians are being misled. Our banks are promoting themselves as climate champions while lobbying against regulations that would accelerate climate action. People in Canada deserve banks which stay true to their word, and protect our money against the risks of climate change and invest in climate solutions, rather than more fossil fuels. It’s time Canada’s banks follow through on their claims and support ambitious climate-aligned financial regulations.“ – Alex Walker, Manager, Climate Finance 

“Why are banks lobbying against climate solutions, when they otherwise say they want to help Canada achieve net-zero? Canada has real climate solutions on the table that would clear up greenwashing, cut pollution, and build a greener economy – this report shows the Big 5 banks lobbying the government to prevent success. The banks are still investing in ways that make climate change worse, and lobbying to slow climate-related policy.

Given the Big 5 banks set their own commitments to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, they should develop climate plans to deliver on these targets, encourage policy to quicken action, and support rules to clear up greenwashing.” – Julie Segal, Senior Manager, Climate Finance


  • In a recent appearance before the Senate Banking Committee the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA), regarding Bill S-243, argued that Canada’s banks did not need to be regulated. The banks have made voluntary commitments to reach net-zero by 2050 as members of the Net Zero Bankers Alliance (NZBA), and the CBA argues these voluntary commitments can supplant regulation, despite evidence that the banks are not on track to meet these emission reduction targets. 
  • InfluenceMap’s report highlights the banks’ anti-climate lobbying activities contravene the conditions of their membership in the NZBA. To learn more about NZBA commitments see here.
  • The federal government committed to deliver next steps on a Sustainable Finance Taxonomy in the 2023 Fall Economic Statement, which would be a labelling system for green investments that defines which projects and investments are aligned with limiting long-term global warming to 1.5C.
  • The banks’ financing of oil, gas, and coal, as well as their related policies, contravene the net-zero pathways from energy economists and climate scientists from the IEA and IPCC.

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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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Alex Ross, Communications Manager,