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Banks and Fossil Fuels Report Highlights Important Choices

Ottawa, Nov. 20, 2008: The report “Financing Global Warming: Canadian Banks and Fossil Fuels” released yesterday by the Rainforest Action Network highlights important choices that financial institutions and their customers can make to lessen the climate impacts of their banking. The report suggests that in order to reduce its fossil fuel-related impacts, which have a disproportionate effect on Canada's Boreal forest, as well as the liabilities associated with carbon emissions, banks must lessen their financing of fossil fuel producers, and invest in companies that offer alternative energy sources.

The innovative approach, including an on-line investment footprint tool, put forward in the RAN report offers people some interesting insights into some of the implications of their own personal banking footprint. It is a report that points for the need for leadership and action on many fronts. Several Canadian banks have begun to put in place policies to measure and reduce their carbon footprint, but it is still early days in implementation and action.

Alan Young, Corporate Program Director of the Canadian Boreal Initiative (CBI) highlights the need to also look beyond the banks for public policy leadership: "There is an important role for governments and the public in making the green economy a profitable investment target for banks. As a start, it is critical to put a price on carbon that will drive investment dollars to alternatives, allowing the investors and consumers to do the right thing, economically and ecologically."

CBI believes that the path to protecting our natural and financial assets can be significantly advanced by creating a level policy playing field for alternate energy development. This is an area in which the banks, consumers and activists share common cause and where action to convince the government can help Canadian business and consumers to make money more responsibly.


For more information or to arrange an interview with Alan Young, CBI’s Corporate Program Director, please contact Suzanne Fraser, Canadian Boreal Initiative: 613 230 4739 x 228, 613 552 7277 (mobile) or

To read the RAN report, please go to