ALBERTA: Canadian lender Desjardins is considering no longer funding energy pipelines, a spokesman said on Saturday, citing concerns about the effect such projects may have on the environment. Desjardins, the largest association of credit unions in North America, on Friday temporarily suspended lending for such projects and might make the decision permanent, spokesman Jacques Bouchard said.
Desjardins, a backer of Kinder Morgan Canada’s high-profile expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, had been evaluating its policy for such lending for months, Bouchard said. If it makes the decision permanent, that may mean Desjardins will not help finance other major pipelines projects, including TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Energy East and Enbridge’s Line 3. Such a move would follow that of Dutch lender ING Groep, which has a long-standing policy of not funding projects directly related to oil sands, and is the latest sign that pipelines could have a harder time getting funding as banks face increasing pressure to back away. Patrick Bonin from Greenpeace praised Desjardins, but called on the lender to make it permanent and reconsider its C$145m ($113m) commitment to Trans Mountain.