On Wednesday, May 10 2022, Greenpeace activists disrupted BMO Financial Group’s conference on climate action, at the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. The activists unfolded banners to remind the crowd that BMO continues to fund climate destruction and violate the rights of indigenous peoples, despite the banks attempt to convince the public of the contrary.

Write to BMO’s CEO and ask him to stop funding fossil fuels.

In 2022 alone, BMO ranked as the 13th largest funder of fossil fuels globally and the 4th largest in Canada, with investments totalling over $25 CAN billion! Even worse, from 2016 to 2022, BMO funded a total of C$180 billion in fossil fuels.

As extreme weather events such as forest fires, ice storms, floods and heat waves are becoming more devastating due to climate change, BMO is adding fuel to the fire. And other Canadian banks are not doing any better

BMO also violates the rights of indigenous peoples

That’s not all. BMO funds destructive fossil fuel projects, such as the Coastal Gaslink (CGL) pipeline, on unceded Wet’suwet’en Nation territory. They are doing this even though the Wet’suwet’en hereditary leaders never gave free, prior and informed consent for the project. BMO also helped fund the Enbridge Line 3 and Line 5 pipelines, violating Indigenous peoples’ rights.

BMO must stop funding fossil fuels and respect the rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

The latest IPCC report confirms that we must act now to reduce our emissions much faster, as the consequences of climate change are  manifesting themselves more rapidly than originally anticipated. They are already causing significant loss and damage to ecosystems and communities.

Putting an end to BMO greenwashing

The UN recently released a report calling out greenwashing, a phenomenon that leads the public to believe that a company or entity is doing more to protect the environment than it is, including using weak net-zero emissions as climate commitments. The UN also provides a roadmap to ensure the integrity of net zero emission commitments made by industry, financial institutions, cities and regions. According to the UN, non-state actors, including banks, cannot pretend to achieve “net zero” while still pursuing the construction of or investment in new sources of fossil fuel supply. The UN also states that institutions like BMO must set an interim target to be achieved over the next decade that reflects  maximum effort to meet or exceed a fair share of the global 50% CO2 reduction by 2030.  

When it claims to be a climate leader while being the world’s 15th largest funder of fossil fuels (between 2018 and 2022), BMO is simply exposing they are a master of greenwashing! The UN is unequivocal, a company like BMO is greenwashing when it has no plan to meet the Paris Agreement, continues to fund fossil fuels, and has no target to cut its funded emissions in half by 2030.