TORONTO, Jan. 29, 2021 /CNW/ – Today concerned citizens across Canada will make their voices heard in covid-safe ways to demand that RBC and other banks stop funding fossil fuels and respect Indigenous Rights.
Since the Paris Agreement was signed, RBC has financed over C$178 billion in fossil fuel projects, the most of any Canadian bank and fifth most in the world.1
Canada’s five biggest banks have together financed over C$610 billion in fossil fuel projects since 2016. This includes financing projects opposed by First Nations, including Coastal Gas Link, the Line 3 pipeline, and the Dakota Access pipeline.
The banks’ existing green pledges – like TD’s "net zero by 2050" – so far do nothing to change these practices, not even to get out of coal, something that other banks around the world are doing, including Desjardins.
Participating groups in the "Fossil Fuel Banks No Thanks" national day of action include: 350 Ottawa, 350 Toronto, 350 Vancouver, Below 2c, Climate Legacy, Climate Pledge Collective, Climate Justice Guelph, Divest Canada Coalition, Extinction Rebellion Ottawa, Extinction Rebellion Quebec, Fridays for Future Calgary, Fridays for Future Ottawa, Fridays for Future Toronto, For Our Kids, School Strike for Climate Halifax, and Sustainabiliteens.
Across Canada, activities will include small covid-safe demonstrations in front of branches, online actions, postering, and people contacting their bank promising to move their business unless changes are made.
Grade 12 student Naisha Khan lives in Surrey, B.C. When she heads to university next year, her frosh week won’t include opening an RBC chequing account. This Friday she’ll be among a group of students across Canada reaching out to RBC to let the bank know it needs to walk away from fossil fuel finance or it will lose climate-aware students as future customers.
"RBC’s immense fossil fuel investments, especially those violating Indigenous rights, do not make it an institution I want to support," Khan says. "The inevitable end to fossil fuels is coming and I’m choosing to do what I can to speed that up. RBC needs to stop bankrolling fossil fuels if it wants young Canadians who care about the climate as future customers."
Montreal resident Jennifer Roberge is a mom to 10-year old Chloe and 12-year old Tristan. This week she’s telling her local RBC branch manager that if RBC doesn’t commit to stop investing in fossil fuel projects by Earth Day 2021 (April 22), she’ll be moving her business accounts out of RBC.
"Every day I grow more concerned about the state of our planet and how climate change will impact my children as they grow and have families of their own. Taking action against climate change can seem overwhelming, but switching banks is not. I’m holding Canadian banks like RBC accountable for supporting Big Oil and turning a blind eye to the critical changes needed now to ensure a safe climate for our children," Roberge says.
Toronto 350’s Mary Thomas said, "It’s time to put Canadian banks on notice and stop fossil fuel projects at their source. We can do this, if we work together."
1 Numbers drawn from Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report 2020 and converted into Canadian dollars.
SOURCE For Our Kids