CIBC Joins RMI’s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance

CIBC joined RMI‘s Center for Climate-Aligned Finance as a strategic partner. According to CIBC, it is the first Canadian bank to partner with the center’s efforts to align financial decision-making with the long-term decarbonization of the real economy.

CIBC joined U.S. financial institutions Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America as financial sector partners of the center, which serves as an “engine room” for the financial sector to work with corporate clients to identify solutions through partnerships with industry participants and policymakers to facilitate a transition in the global economy to net-zero emissions by the middle of the 21st century.

“We are committed to developing market-based solutions that address critical environmental challenges, and our collaboration with the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance is an additional resource to further our momentum and expertise in this important area,” Harry Culham, group head of capital markets at CIBC, said. “As a purpose-led bank, we have a leadership role to play in advising our corporate clients as they transition to a lower-carbon economy, and we’re committed to working with all stakeholders to help our clients achieve these ambitions.”

The Center for Climate-Aligned Finance was launched by RMI in July 2020 and works to enable financial institutions, corporates and experts to overcome obstacles to climate alignment. Collaborating with its partners, the center works across industries to shape sectoral climate alignment initiatives for high-emitting industries and contributes to the development of global solutions, practices and frameworks as finance increasingly plays a role in the decarbonization of the global economy.

“We are delighted to welcome CIBC as a strategic partner as we look to support the bank’s sustainable finance efforts across Canada, the U.S. and beyond,” Paul Bodnar, chief strategy officer at RMI and chair of the Center for Climate-Aligned Finance, said. “This represents a major advance for climate alignment in North America. Only collective action by financial institutions, in concert with their clients, can drive progress fast enough towards a net-zero emissions global economy.”

In December, CIBC received a score of A- from the CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project).

In 2020, CIBC issued a $500 million, five-year green bond to help finance new and existing green projects, assets and businesses that mitigate the risks and effects of climate change. These include renewable energy, green buildings, clean transportation, natural resource conservation, biodiversity conservation, energy efficiency, and pollution prevention and control.

In 2019, the bank announced a target of mobilizing $150 billion in environmental and sustainable finance activities by 2027. In addition, in 2019, the bank issued a climate-related disclosure report aligned with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and set new targets to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources and become carbon neutral by 2024.

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