RBC targets net-zero emissions by 2050, commits C$500 bln to sustainable financing

Feb 25 (Reuters) - Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) aims to achieve net-zero emissions across its lending operations by 2050 and has committed C$500 billion ($400.64 billion) toward its sustainable finance target, Canada’s top lender said on Thursday.

The move comes at a time when investors have stepped up pressure on major banks and insurers to drop financing and insurance for fossil fuel companies.

RBC said last year it would not directly finance exploration or development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a move mirrored by rival Toronto-Dominion Bank, which also plans to get to net-zero emissions by 2050.

Some of Canada’s largest banks and insurers are set to participate in a pilot project to better understand the risks to the financial system from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

RBC on Thursday also committed to measuring and reporting financed emissions for key industry sectors from 2022.

The lender said it met its earlier C$100 billion sustainable finance target last year.

$1 = 1.2480 Canadian dollars Reporting by Sohini Podder and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni