On March 3rd 2010 members of the Dogwood Initiative and the general public made a powerful presence at the Royal Canadian Bank (RBC) on the corner of Fort & Douglas in downtown Victoria, BC. The issue being brought to light was that of the fact that RBC is the largest financial funder of the Alberta Tar Sands, contributing over $16 billion dollars to date in direct fossil fuel funding.
Environmental groups are asking RBC to take more responsibility with its large investments in dirty fuels and focus on shift to financing renewable resources.
Key requests in regards to the Tar Sands are;
To recognize the rights of indigenous communities to free, prior and informed consent to industrial projects affecting their traditional territory.
To phase out client relationships with tar sands operators that are unable or unwilling to reverse adverse impacts on water quality and regional ecology.
For RBC to take a leadership role on fighting climate change by committing to measure and reduce its financed emissions over time.
An example of fishing for a deformed fish born with two mouths due to water pollution. The Alberta Tar Sands are considered to be the most environmentally destructive industrial project on the entire earth. Of the approximately 350 million cubic meters of fresh water used in production every year, at least 90-95% ends up being too toxic to be released and is stored in tailing ponds large enough to be seen from space. An estimated 11 million litres of this waste water leaks out everyday, poisoning wildlife and increasing cancer rates in nearby communities.
What can you do as an individual? Storing or investing your money with a bank with strong environmental principles is a great start! Every dollar counts! In Canada, Vancity is ranked #1 for these standards. If you are interested in how your bank rates, the carbon footprint of your savings, and how to change it, please visit this site: http://climatefriendlybanking.com/