How Top Canadian Institutions Finance the Russian Oil & Gas Empire

Monday February 28, 2022

Stand.earth Says Canadian Financial Institutes “Complicit” In Ongoing Crisis

Travis Nichols

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEBRUARY 28, 2022

New Research Reveals Continued Canadian Investment in Russian Oil & Gas

Stand.earth Says Canadian Financial Institutes “Complicit” In Ongoing Crisis

Traditional Lummi and Nooksack Land and Unceded and Coast Salish Territories (BELLINGHAM, WA /VANCOUVER, BC) — Today, Stand.earth revealed new research showing over $110 million USD invested by prominent Canadian financial institutions in Russian oil and gas majors Lukoil, Rosneft, and Gazprom, among others. These financial institutions include well-recognized names like RBC, CIBC, BMO and Manulife, who, despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have so far made no moves to end these relationships. 

“Canadian financial institutions need to be part of the solution, not the problem,” Stand.earth International Programs Director Tzeporah Berman said. “We know that Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine has been underwritten by oil and gas money, and this new research shows how Canadian institutions are complicit in the bloodshed. RBC, BMO, and Manulife need to step up the pressure on Russia to end this conflict by immediately divesting from Rosneft, Lukoil and Gazprom. The federal government should also mandate divestment across the board for all Canadian financial institutions in the next round of sanctions.”

To view the research on Canadian investments, click here.

“The fossil fuel industry has yet to meet a crisis it couldn’t try to turn into an opportunity, and this war is no different,” Berman continued. “It’s clear Canadian banks, financial institutions, and the Canadian government itself need to see this moment as a wake up call to mobilize capital toward building a more secure clean energy system, yet within hours of Russia’s invasion, the fossil fuel industry and their Canadian politicians began calling for greater oil and gas investments. It’s disgusting, craven fearmongering, and we have to fight it. This conflict clearly shows how dangerous our dependence on a fossil fuel system is, especially one that concentrates power in the hands of someone like Putin. The oligarchs have control over a handful of choke points in the system that can have a staggering impact on price and availability. By financing and subsidizing fossil fuel companies like Rosneft and Gazprom, our financial institutions and government are just digging us deeper into conflict, vulnerability, and instability, all of which the climate crisis will only make worse.”

Oil and gas exports from Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil are essential to Russia’s ability to fund its military, and its ability to maintain leverage in global politics. Research from Carbon Brief has shown that Russia accounts for 17% of overall global gas output, and 12% of global oil output. Many corporations and government institutions are already taking action against Russian oil and gas companies in light of the illegal invasion. BP, for example, recently announced it would sell its 19.75% voting stake in Rosneft, effective immediately, and New York State has just introduced a bill that would direct the state pension funds to divest from all Russian companies. The Canadian government announced it would ban oil imports from Russia, but so far it has taken no action on financing.

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CONTACT: Travis Nichols, Communications Director, Stand.earth +1 404.432.1362 travis@stand.earth

Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with offices in Canada and the United States that is known for its groundbreaking research and successful corporate and citizens engagement campaigns to create new policies and industry standards in protecting forests, advocating the rights of indigenous peoples, and protecting the climate. Visit us at www.stand.earth and follow us on Twitter @standearth.