PBI-Guatemala shares Bankrolling Extinction report that lists RBC and TD among top financiers of biodiversity loss

Published by Brent Patterson on

A new research report highlights: “The financial sector is bankrolling the mass extinction crisis, while undermining human rights and indigenous sovereignty.”

On October 31, the Peace Brigades International-Guatemala Project posted on its Facebook page this article from El Espectador about the report.

The Guardian has also reported: “The world’s largest investment banks provided more than $2.6 trillion (£1.9tn) of financing linked to the destruction of ecosystems and wildlife last year, according to a new report.”

That article adds: “The findings in the Bankrolling Extinction report were produced by portfolio.earth, a new initiative led by finance, economics and environmental experts to better understand the role of the finance industry in the destruction of the natural world.”

And The Ecologist observes: “None of the banks assessed in the research by Bankrolling Extinction had chosen to put sufficient systems in place to monitor or measure the impact of their loans on biodiversity loss, nor do they have comprehensive policies to halt it.”

The report lists two of the largest Canadian banks: the Royal Bank of Canada and the Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Of the 50 banks listed in the report, the Royal Bank of Canada ranks 15th and the Toronto-Dominion Bank ranks 18th in a chart that lists in millions (USD) the loans and underwriting by banks linked to direct and indirect biodiversity impact risks in 2019.

The full Bankrolling Extinction report can be read here.

Earlier this year, the Rainforest Action Network, BankTrack, Indigenous Environmental Network, Oil Change International, Reclaim Finance and Sierra Club released a report that showed that 35 banks have poured a total of $2.7 trillion into fossil fuels in the four years since the Paris Agreement was adopted (2016-2019).

This financing included more than $481 billion from Canadian banks: the Royal Bank of Canada (at $140.6 billion), Toronto Dominion ($103.4 billion), Scotiabank ($97.7 billion), the Bank of Montreal ($82.1 billion) and CIBC ($57.7 billion).

The report noted: “The world’s fifth biggest fossil funder is Canada’s RBC.”

That Banking on Climate Change report can be read here.

On October 28, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet stated: “Environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, pollution and the climate crisis constitute some of humanity’s gravest challenges, contributing both directly and indirectly to human rights violations around the world.”

Bachelet then noted: “To effectively address the drivers of biodiversity loss, we must take concrete steps [including] protect environmental human rights defenders from harm.”

Peace Brigades International provides both protective and political (advocacy) accompaniment to threatened frontline defenders in Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico to enable them to continue their crucial work.

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