Thu. May 19th, 2022

The groups say many members of a ‘net-zero’ alliance Carney chairs are among the biggest financiers of fossil fuels and new funding for fossil fuel infrastructure

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OTTAWA _ Former Canada’s bank director Mark Carney’s credibility as global head of climate finance is under fire as environmental lobby groups say he allows some of the world’s largest banks to use him as cover to continue financing fossil fuels.

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Carney is widely expected to run for the Federal Liberals in a future election and campaign for some Liberal candidates in the election that ended last month. But he declined openings to even run in that campaign because of his previous commitment as the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Funding.

As part of this role, he is also chairman of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), with the aim of getting the largest financial institutions around the world to both commit and lead the way to net zero emissions in 2050 .

The alliance will play a critical role in next month’s UN Party Council climate negotiations, commonly known as COP26, where a major focus will be on finding the economy to fund climate pledges to achieve necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

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A coalition of more than 90 Canadian and international environmental groups published full-page ads Thursday in the Toronto Star and Financial Times, asking Carney to tighten membership requirements in this alliance.

“While we welcome your role in establishing a framework to help green the financial system, too many signing banks and other financial institutions use GFANZ and ‘Net Zero’ promises such as greenwash, empty promises without meaningful actions or clear accountability,” it said. there in the ad in a letter printed next to a giant photo of Carney superimposed on a background of flooding water, stacks of smoke and a sky colored orange from forest fires.

Carney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Richard Brooks, climate finance director at Stand.earth, said membership of the alliance is based on promises from banks and other financial institutions that they will set goals to invest in green energy projects and divest from fossil fuels, but there is no immediate requirements for follow-up.

The threshold that has been set is very much: ‘Hey, join the club and then sometime in the future we will ask you to make some more commitments on how you will change your practice on this path to get in net-zero emissions by 2050, ”Brooks said.

Brooks said science is aware that action cannot be beaten down the road. He said membership requirements should be tightened so that every financial institution involved must commit to completely phasing out the funding of all fossil fuel companies and reducing half of the emissions from the investments they make by 2030.

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He said any institution that does not meet these targets should be kicked out right away so that they cannot use their membership as “green cover” while pushing every single drop of profit out of the fossil fuel sector.

“We’ve had way too many years, decades of talking and talking and not enough acting, and it’s really time to call people on their talk and force them to go,” Brooks said.

A statement from the coalition behind the ads said most of the alliance’s members have not given any details on how they intend to reduce their investment in fossil fuels and have no short-term goals for reducing emissions themselves.

They also say that many members of the alliance are still among the largest financiers of fossil fuels, and some have even issued new funding for fossil fuel infrastructure since joining the alliance.

It includes Brookfield Infrastructure, which over the summer continued with its plan to take over Inter Pipeline, the largest carrier of oil sands bitumen in Alberta.

The UN says more than 160 financial companies are signatories to the alliance, but very few are Canadian. There are no Canadian banks among the 43 bank members, and only a handful of owners and managers, including the Caisse de depot a location du Quebec.

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