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Opinion

Choosing Greenpeace over clients: the new banking reality

Banks are learning about the damage that being on the wrong side of environmental issues can cause.

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There’s trouble afoot with the expansion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline. Some 26 banks from Canada, the US, Japan, Europe and China have committed about $7.25 billion to the project that plans to expand the 1,150 kilometre route of the existing pipeline through Canada – bumping up its capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels of oil a day. 

It was approved by the Canadian government at the end of last year, but, in echoes of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), the project already faces 19 court challenges launched by First Nations, environmental groups and the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby. 

One has to bet prime minister Justin Trudeau has upped his yoga commitment these days. Having positioned himself as a progressive, compassionate leader who welcomes Syrian refugees and bangs the drum for women, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community, he is now supporting a pipeline that impacts indigenous people and will increase the production of fossil fuels. 

Conflict

Protesters in Canada’s cities are reminding him of that conflict.

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