Extinction Rebellion protesters visited a downtown bank this afternoon to call on Canada’s banks to discontinue investments in the oil and gas industry.
Protesters marched from Diana Krall Plaza to the RBC branch on Commercial Street on Friday, July 8, chanting “kill the drill” and criticizing the bank’s investments that have supported expansion of the industry and its infrastructure.
“Royal Bank of Canada is one of the top banks in the world financing the fossil fuel industry and driving climate chaos,” noted Extinction Rebellion in an e-mail.
Robert Fuller, an Extinction Rebellion member, pointed to RBC’s funding of the Trans Mountain pipeline and the Coastal GasLink pipeline.
“They talk a good talk about divesting and bringing greenhouse gases down, yet in the past year they’ve upped their ante,” he said.
Friday’s protest included performance art, with Extinction Rebellion member Doug Prentice dressed as a “dirty, dirty banker” flaunting his money in front of a model of an oil derrick spewing cola.
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Extinction Rebellion protested outside a Nanaimo bank this afternoon to call on Canada’s banks to discontinue investments in the oil and gas industry… https://t.co/7fOEaIh8fM #Nanaimo pic.twitter.com/DHL5RqUwVQ— Nanaimo Bulletin (@NanaimoBulletin) July 9, 2022
RBC committed last year to achieving net-zero emissions in its lending by 2050 and is part of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance to accelerate and support efforts to address climate change. The bank said in its environmental, social and governance performance report last year that it intends to allocate $500 billion in sustainable financing by 2025, which it says makes RBC “the largest financier of the net-zero transition in Canada.”
“RBC is committed to change and progress, and we will play an active leadership role in accelerating the transition to a net-zero world by working with our clients to support and enable their plans, and in our own operations,” said David McKay, RBC CEO, in the bank’s 2021 task force on climate-related financial disclosures report.