Toronto Dominion Bank
SumOfUs Shareholder Resolution
At the Toronto Dominion Bank annual general meeting on April 14, 2022, we call on investors to vote for the SumOfUs shareholder resolution. The resolution requests the bank to adopt a policy to end financing for all new fossil fuel supply, by the end of 2022, in alignment with pathways to limit global warming to 1.5C. The resolution also calls on the bank to report annually to shareholders on its plans and progress towards achieving this goal.
SumOfUs, a corporate accountability organization representing thousands of shareholders, has filed a shareholder proposal for consideration at Toronto Dominion’s AGM on April 14th, 2022. You can read their investor briefing here.
In 2020, Toronto Dominion Bank (TD) committed to a target of net-zero emissions associated with its operations and financing activities by 2050. In 2021, the bank joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, reinforcing their net-zero emissions commitment.
TD has significant exposure to fossil fuels. It ranked 9th in the world in fossil fuel funding according to the Rainforest Action Network’s 2021 Banking on Climate Chaos report. This is not new: TD has been one of the world’s top ten largest funders of fossil fuels since the Rainforest Action Network started tracking fossil fuel funding in 2010. And, despite their climate commitments in the past two years, the bank has failed to put clear policies in place to address their ongoing financing of the oil and gas sectors.
The bank must commit to ending funding for new oil and gas projects to hit their climate targets and meet their Net-Zero Banking Alliance commitments. According to ShareAction’s 2022 report on oil and gas expansion, these new fossil fuel projects are incompatible with a net-zero scenario.
It is simply greenwash to on the one hand make grand climate commitments while using the other to fund the fossil fuel expansion that the International Energy Agency explicitly stated will prevent us from keeping global temperature rises to below 1.5 degrees celsius. This contradictory behavior puts TD at considerable reputational risk and this will also reflect poorly on its investors.
Furthermore, escalating legal challenges and direct opposition to oil and gas projects globally, but especially in North America, are pushing back completion dates and are causing many corporations to abandon projects before completion. Funding these risky projects puts TD at risk of their clients defaulting on loans, which can in turn affect its shareholder value.
But the risks of investing in a bank that continues to fund projects that are a significant driver of the climate crisis goes far beyond reputational risk. The destruction that climate change is already wreaking on our communities and its escalation into the future as emissions continue to climb is a systemic risk to the financial system as a whole and therefore, investors’ entire portfolios.
This is where investors can use their shareholder power to take necessary action to protect their investments and the world from the disastrous effects of the climate crisis. On April 14th, 2022, TD’s investors must vote for the SumofUS shareholder resolution.