Climate advocates urge change at TD Bank Annual Meeting

 

For immediate release: April 1, 2019

Toronto350

Climate advocates urge change at TD Bank Annual Meeting

Thursday, April 4, 8:30 am
The Design Exchange, 234 Bay St, Toronto

On Thursday, April 4, Toronto350 will team up with the Fossil Banks, No Thanks! campaign to lead a demonstration outside Toronto Dominion Bank’s Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. Environmentalists are demanding that the bank’s lending and financing activities align with a safe climate. Independently, TD shareholders at the meeting will consider a proposal to withdraw financing from greenhouse gas polluting projects. TD’s record is documented in a new report on the global banking industry Banking on Climate Change – Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2019 .

Toronto350 is a local network affiliate of the international 350. 350 uses online campaigns, grassroots organizing, and mass public actions to oppose new coal, oil and gas projects, take money out of the companies that are heating up the planet, and build 100% clean energy solutions that work for all. 350's network extends to 188 countries.

Fossil Banks, No Thanks! is a BankTrack-led global campaign calling on banks to immediately end financing for new fossil fuels and phase out all fossil fuel finance.

CONTACT

Tony Rapoport, Toronto350
Email:
anthonyrapoport@gmail.com
Landline/voicemail: 416-769-0952
Cell (text only): 647-669-0265

Greig Aitken, Climate campaigner, BankTrack
Tel: +420607084093 (in Czech Republic)
Email: greig@banktrack.org

 

LINKS

Banking on Climate Change – Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2019
https://www.banktrack.org/article/banking_on_climate_change_fossil_fuel_finance_report_card_2019

TD 2019 Annual Meeting Proxy Circular (Proposal A and Board of Directors’ response, p. 63)
https://www.td.com/document/PDF/investor/2019/E-2019-Proxy-Circular.pdf

TD report, Managing Climate-related Risks and Opportunities
https://www.td.com/document/PDF/corporateresponsibility/TCFD-report-final.pdf

IPCC Report: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/

Toronto350: https://www.toronto350.org/

 

BACKGROUND

From Toronto Dominion Bank’s 2017 Corporate Responsibility Report:

The world is in transition to a low-carbon economy, working to limit the increase in the global average temperature to well below two degrees Celsius by 2030… We can help accelerate the pace and scale of the transition through our lending, financing, sustainable investing, corporate philanthropy and community programming.”

In 2018, TD Bank provided $6.96 billion in financing for companies expanding the extraction of fossil fuels. Their total for 2016 to 2018 is $27.1 billion, the sixth-highest figure in the report card’s global list.

All five of Canada’s major banks are heavily implicated in global fossil fuel expansion. Scotiabank’s involvement rose to $14.37 billion in 2018, second in the world for the year, behind JPMorgan Chase of the US. TD’s 2018 total ranks ninth.

 

From the Fossil Banks, No Thanks! briefing on TD:

Climate change is here, now. The rising numbers of deadly storms, droughts and wildfires which are displacing entire communities around the world are proof that climate change is here. Glaciers depended on by millions for fresh water are disappearing at frightening speeds and the oceans are warming faster than predicted.

The time left to avoid climate breakdown is running out fast. According to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), to limit warming to 1.5°C we must halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 - just 11 years away - and bring them to zero by 2050.

We cannot succeed unless we bring the era of fossil fuels to a rapid end. This means banks like TD must cease their support for the climate-wrecking coal, oil, and gas industries.”

 

Certain fossil fuel sources have particularly high environmental, social and climate impacts. TD’s financial involvement with these “extreme” fossil fuels in 2018 was:

$3.478 billion for tar sands (also known as oil sands)
$2.277 billion for fracked oil and gas
$112 million for arctic oil and gas
$73 million for coal mining
$69 million for coal power
$19 million for ultra-deepwater oil and gas

TD was the second highest financier of tar sands companies, including Teck Resources, whose proposed Frontier Project would be the largest in the history of tar sands development.

At their meeting on Thursday, TD shareholders will consider a proposal to restrict the bank’s future financing and investments in energy projects with significant greenhouse gas emissions. In recommending rejection of the proposal, the bank’s Board of Directors stated,

TD is taking a balanced approach to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, by supporting conventional energy sources that fuel North America’s current economic vitality, while investing in low-carbon innovation aimed at helping enable a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.”

TD’s 2018 report, Managing Climate-related Risks and Opportunities, states, “Canada is transitioning toward a low-carbon economy – a process that began almost a decade ago and will continue for another two to three decades.”

Toronto350.org and Fossil Banks, No Thanks! reject TD’s priorities and timeline as a starkly inadequate response to the climate crisis, as established by the IPCC. We call on TD to:

  • Prohibit all financing for all fossil fuel expansion projects and for companies expanding fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure.

  • Commit to phase out all financing for fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure, on an explicit timeline that is aligned with limiting global warming to 1.5°C.

  • Prohibit all financing for all projects in tar sands oil, Arctic oil and gas, ultra-deepwater oil and gas, fracked oil and gas, and liquefied natural gas, and all companies with operations or expansion plans in these subsectors.

  • Prohibit all financing for all projects in coal mining or coal power, and all companies with operations or expansion plans in these subsectors.

  • 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.

 

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