The Financial Post reports in its Saturday, Aug. 20, edition that earmarking financing for carbon-reducing projects has become commonplace, with Canadian banks issuing "green" and sustainability bonds in the billions of dollars. The Post's Barbara Shecter writes that proceeds from those bonds are used to finance projects with environmental benefits including renewable energy, green buildings and cleaner transportation. Meanwhile, the banks have trimmed exposure to direct oil and gas lending as a percentage of their loan books, launched "responsible investing" exchange traded funds, and spoken of new and expanding pledges to champion and act upon environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals. Ms. Shecter says all the while, though, the banks have maintained an outsized relationship with the oil and gas sector from a global perspective. Ms. Shecter says that symbiotic relationship -- forged when energy and resources were the backbone of the Canadian economy -- is increasingly coming under pressure from governments, shareholders and environmental groups amid a global movement to cut down on fossil fuel emissions, with many seeing the financial sector as a fulcrum to enact change.
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