Royal Bank of Canada
I4PC’s Shareholder Resolution
At the Royal Bank of Canada’s annual general meeting on April 7, 2022, we are calling on investors to vote in favour of the Investors for Paris Compliance shareholder resolution. The resolution calls on the bank to define their sustainable finance framework in a way that precludes fossil fuels and projects facing significant opposition from Indigenous peoples.
Investors for Paris Compliance (I4PC) decided to file this resolution after the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) provided a sustainability linked loan and bond to fossil fuel infrastructure company, Enbridge, a company famous for the controversial Line 3 pipeline expansion opposed by affected Indigenous communities.
This is not an isolated example. RBC also did a sustainability linked bond with oil and gas drilling company Tamarack Valley Energy, with some of the proceeds used to buy another oil and gas company.
I4PC is a shareholder advocacy organization that works with investors to hold publicly traded Canadian companies accountable to their net zero commitments.
RBC’s greenwashing via these sustainability linked deals is a symptom of it’s bigger problem: RBC is Canada’s biggest fossil fuel financier and fifth in the world.
Just last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) made it clear that no new fossil fuel expansion can take place in a world that needs to limit temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees. And yet, RBC is financing companies like Enbridge to lock in new fossil fuel infrastructure and helping companies like Tamarack expand drilling.
Part of the problem at RBC is that climate commitments made by the bank, like being a member of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance for example, are voluntary and unregulated. It is this lack of accountability that provides RBC with the ability to greenwash the word “sustainable” by labelling their fossil fuel financing as such.
These activities by the bank contribute towards compliance and reputational risks.
This is where investors come in. In order to remain within safe climate limits and mitigate against compliance and reputational risks to the bank, RBC’s investors must step up this AGM season and vote for I4PC’s shareholder resolution.