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Scotiabank Underwhelms In Climate Plans

Today Scotiabank released its Net-Zero Pathways Report outlining its next steps regarding its net zero commitment.

Reaction quote:

“There’s nothing in these plans that will see Scotiabank reduce the tens of billions it pours into fossil fuels each year. In fact, by relying on intensity targets, the bank is allowing itself to expand this funding, which will make the climate crisis much worse.”

Highlights from the report:

  • Scotiabank does not appear to measure Scope 3 emissions from oil and gas in its financed emissions – there is no clear disclosure for these numbers. The bank also does not include facilitated emissions from underwriting when measuring its climate impact. Underwriting is a major source of financing to fossil fuel companies.
  • Scotiabank set intensity targets for Scope 1 and 2 emissions (-30%) for oil and gas and delayed setting a target for Scope 3. Intensity targets allow overall emissions to grow with increased activity.
  • Scotiabank relies on the Canadian Government’s Evolving Pathway for setting Scope 1 and 2 intensity targets for oil and gas. Scotiabank acknowledges that this Pathway is not net zero aligned, and says it is open to updating.
  • Scotiabank says that Scope 3 emissions for oil and gas for North America could possibly drop by 15-25% by 2030 but fails to account for actual plans by the oil and gas industry to expand – Canada’s major oil and gas companies plan to expand production by 30% by 2030. This will raise Scope 3 emissions.
  • Scotiabank’s 2030 target for Power and Utilities is a 55-60% intensity reduction, again allowing overall emissions to potentially rise. Scotiabank’s ability to hit this target will depend in part on its willingness to tackle its outsized financing of companies – including US utilities – on the Global Coal Exit List. Scotiabank’s coal policy is not aligned with the consensus to exit coal in the OECD by 2030 and globally by 2040.
  • Scotiabank gives few details about how it will measure, track, and report on its “counterparty engagement,” and by explicitly ruling out divestment, the bank both gives up an accountability mechanism and sets itself up to have a portfolio composition that breaks its climate targets.
  • There is no discussion of the IEA’s Net Zero finding that no investment is required in new fossil fuel development, nor any commitments to adhere to this.
  • On a positive note, Scotiabank makes a start on residential mortgages and agriculture, something other banks are still getting around to.

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