Group Therapy For Banks Hooked on Tar Sands

By Brant Ran

After more than a year of denial, RBC may be admitting that it has a problem in the tar sands. Tomorrow, we’ve learned that RBC will host a group of more than a dozen international banks for what it calls a “day of learning”. The meeting comes just eight weeks after our letter to 68 banks signed on to the Equator Principles requesting that they forgo financing in the controversial industrial project.

RBC’s invitation-only meeting clearly aims to develop begin developing a coordinated response among banks to the growing controversy over tar sands financing. We got a peek at a draft agenda featuring Deputy Ministers from Alberta’s Environment and Energy Ministries, tar sands developers, selected environmental groups and at least one “First Nation representative”.

While we didn’t get an invitation to the meeting, volunteers are planning to make our presence known by distributing a special message to bankers in attendance.

We don’t know for sure which banks will show, but we’re expecting most of the 26 ranked in our earlier post on international banks backing the tar sands.

We’re happy to see RBC starting an important conversation in the banking industry, but actions speak louder than words. These banks should stop bankrolling dirty oil and shift those funds into clean energy.

Progress or PR? You decide! Tell us what you think in the comments.