Briefing

Goldman Sachs will no longer fund Arctic drilling; pressure turns to Canada’s banks

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Leaders from the Gwich’in community are heading to Bay Street to pressure the country’s largest banks to follow the U.S. bank in ending funding for oil and natural gas drilling projects in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (CBC)

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Talking point: The Indigenous leaders are set to meet with representatives of RBC, Scotiabank, TD and CIBC. All four banks have investments in Arctic energy development, with TD being the largest investor at about $400 million. Goldman Sachs is the first big U.S. bank to scrap financing for energy exploration, joining institutions like Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland, in the world’s fastest-warming region. Goldman Sachs’ new environmental policy, outlined Sunday as international climate talks in Madrid wrapped up, also prohibits financing for new coal-fired power plants that don’t have carbon emissions-reduction technology. The bank promised to invest US$750 billion in “sustainable finance” over the next decade.