Canada's environment commissioner says action by the federal banking regulator on climate change is overdue and now urgent.
Commissioner Jerry DeMarco says in an audit released Thursday that it's encouraging that the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OFSI) both recognizes the risks of climate change to banks and the financial system, and is taking action on the challenge.
But he notes that since climate change has only recently become a priority of the regulator, full implementation of the strategy is still years away.
DeMarco also says that OFSI's plan to improve the resilience to climate change of banks and other financial institutions stops short of actually encouraging the transition to a net-zero emissions economy.
Among the auditor's recommendations are that OFSI set clearer guidance about the information banks need to report in their transition plans as a way to avoid greenwashing.
The agency agreed with all five of the auditor's main recommendations, noting that it expects to issue heightened disclosure rules on climate change this year and that it will continue to refine its disclosure expectations.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2023.
The Canadian Press