Toronto-based Scotiabank finances Ecopetrol and Parex Resources in Colombia

Published by Brent Patterson on

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The Banking on Climate Chaos: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2022 finds that:

“Fossil fuel financing from the world’s 60 largest banks has reached USD $4.6 trillion in the six years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, with $742 billion in fossil fuel financing in 2021 alone.”

Among the top financing banks are five Canadian banks : (5) RBC: $201.229 billion; (9) Scotiabank: $149.344 billion; (11) TD: $140.883 billion; (15) Bank of Montreal: $117.090 billion; and (20) CIBC: $90.277 billion

This chart from the report also shows that four Canadian banks have put more than $73.1 billion in financing toward the fracking of oil and gas globally with Scotiabank (8), RBC (9), TD (10), and Bank of Montreal (14) in the Top 15.

The Banking on Climate Chaos website also has a searchable Financing By Bank or Client feature. Notably, it shows that Scotiabank is a top banker for the Colombian oil and gas corporation Ecopetrol.

Ecopetrol will operate both the Kalé and Platero fracking pilot projects near the community of Puerto Wilches in the department of Santander in Colombia.

Toronto-based Sintana Energy Inc. has highlighted that it “holds an undivided 30% non-operated participation interest in a Contract for Exploration and Production for Block VMM-37” where the Platero project would be conducted.

The search function also shows that Scotiabank is a key financier for Calgary-based Parex Resources Inc. that “holds interests in approximately 2.3 million gross acres over 24 onshore blocks in Colombia’s Llanos and Magdalena Basins.”

In March 2019, Colombia’s then-Mines and Energy Minister Maria Fernanda Suarez stated that Parex was among the companies “seeking to operate” a fracking block. Environmental defender Oscar Sampayo has further noted that Parex has had an interest in fracking Block VMM9 near Cimitarra, Santander since 2014.

Tweet: “Heather Neun from @PBIcanada with the support of @Credhos_Paz seeing in person the environmental effects, including water sources, produced by the Canadian company Parex Resources in the village of El Diviso in Bajo Simacota.”

The Banking on Climate Chaos report concludes to align their policies and practices with a world that limits global warming to 1.5°C and fully respects human rights, and Indigenous rights in particular, banks must:

“Prohibit all financing for all fossil fuel expansion projects and for all companies expanding fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure along the whole value chain.”

“Fully respect all human rights, particularly the rights of Indigenous Peoples, including their rights to their water and lands and the right to Free, Prior, and Informed Consent, as articulated in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Prohibit all financing for projects and companies that abuse human rights, including Indigenous rights.”

Corporate efforts to curb climate change?

In somewhat related news, CBC reports: “The head of the United Nations announced the appointment Thursday [March 31] of an expert panel led by Catherine McKenna, Canada’s former environment minister, that will scrutinize whether companies’ efforts to curb climate change are credible or mere greenwashing.”

The Banking on Climate Chaos 2022 report comments:

“[While] banks may tout their commitments to helping their clients transition, and yet the 60 banks profiled in this report funneled $185.5 billion just last year into the 100 companies doing the most to expand the fossil fuel sector, such as Saudi Aramco and ExxonMobil – even when carbon budgets make clear that we cannot afford any new coal, gas, or oil supply or infrastructure.”

The 40-page Banking on Climate Chaos report can be read here and was produced by the organizations noted below.

The Scotiabank headquarters at 40 King Street West in Toronto.

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