Quebec credit union Desjardins Group lifts moratorium on pipeline lending

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CALGARY — Quebec credit union Desjardins Group says it is dropping its moratorium on loans for pipeline projects in favour of a framework of general environmental and social responsibility practices that will inform all future lending decisions.

Spokeswoman Chantal Corbeil says the decision ends Desjardins’ temporary halt to pipeline lending imposed in July.

She says it also means the credit union will continue to back Kinder Morgan Canada’s (TSX:KML) Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project to take more Alberta oilsands crude to the West Coast.

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The decision is likely to upset environmental and First Nations groups who had urged Desjardins to sell its $145-million stake in Kinder Morgan’s credit facility for the project.

Desjardins says it will offset its greenhouse gas emissions this year through the purchase of carbon credits and will favour renewable energy investments in the future.

Before making an investment, it says it will assess whether the partner has consulted with affected communities, such as First Nations, and has a plan to manage its carbon footprint.

The Canadian Press

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