Greenpeace Increases Pressure on RBC Over Fossil Fuel Financing

Two Greenpeace activists were hoisted over the entrance to the Royal Bank of Canada’s Bay Street headquarters on Tuesday, as part of a sustained campaign to get the country’s banks to ditch fossil fuel projects and respect indigenous rights.

It was the second time in just over a month that climate activists attacked the site, after blocking traffic for most of the day during a coordinated global day of action in late October.

“Unfortunately, weather disasters are knocking on our doors now, or taking them down may be more successful, and people’s lives are being disrupted,” said Juan Ortiz, a 28-year-old Greenpeace spokesperson and activist who handed out flyers during the event.

Ortiz said the recent floods, fires and heat waves in British Columbia should be a wake-up call for the general public, and that momentum was building in his campaign to raise awareness of the role banks play in the financing fossil fuel projects that contribute to global warming. .

“This is no longer something that is in the future. It’s happening now and it’s happening at home, ”they said. “It is impossible to ignore.”

Juan Ortiz speaks to the media during the protest in front of the RBC headquarters on December 7, 2021. Photo by Ian Willms / Greenpeace

Greenpeace says that Canada’s top five banks – RBC, Toronto-Dominion, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce – are among the top 25 global fossil fuel backers, providing more than $ 800 billion. in financing since Paris Agreement was signed in 2015.

Activists unsuccessfully tried to deliver charred wood fragments from houses in Lytton, BC, that were destroyed by fires this summer, to the desks of bank executives, including RBC CEO Dave McKay.

“The stakes are high and we want them to really see the human impact of their decisions,” Ortiz said.

More generally, Greenpeace seeks an immediate end to the financing of new fossil fuel projects by Canadian banks and to guarantee the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous communities to any project they finance.

“The stakes are high and we want them to really see the human impact of their decisions,” says Juan Ortiz of Greenpeace. #Fossil fuels #Banks #Divestment

Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada National Observer

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