Scotiabank has chosen not to renew its long-running membership in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, a move that comes at a time when financial institutions are facing growing scrutiny for their role in contributing to climate change.
The Toronto-based bank – which in an email confirmed its exit from CAPP but declined to provide a reason for the change – not only held an associate membership in the oil and gas lobby group, but for many years was also the title sponsor of the annual Scotiabank CAPP Energy Symposium.
The most recent symposium, held just last month, still had Scotiabank's name attached to it, though CAPP spokesman Jay Averill said that won't be the case going forward.
“CAPP’s agreement with Scotiabank on the Energy Symposium was completed this year and we are grateful for their support of Canada's natural gas and oil industry,'' Averill said in an email. “We have already started the work in finalizing a partner for next year's Energy Symposium.''
Scotiabank – which was the only one of Canada's Big Five banks to hold a membership with CAPP – is a member of many industry and business associations in Canada and globally. On its website, the bank says that while its affiliation with these groups “does not imply an endorsement of positions or public statements,'' the bank frequently reviews its memberships “to ensure consistency with Bank-held public policy positions.”
Its departure from CAPP comes as financial institutions are under increasing global pressure to account for their own role in contributing to climate change as funders of fossil fuel companies.
Scotiabank is not the only high-profile exit from CAPP in recent years. In 2020, French oil and gas giant Total dropped out of the lobby group citing a “misalignment'' between the organization's public positions and those expressed in Total's climate policies.
Global energy giant Royal Dutch Shell is still a member of CAPP but has previously urged the organization to support both the Paris climate accord and the pricing of carbon to encourage greenhouse gas emission reductions.
U.K.-based BP plc has also warned CAPP that the lobby group's policies are only “partially aligned” with the oil company's own climate positions and its ambitions to become a net-zero producer by 2050.
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