RBC branch blocked by environmental activists
Activists from various environmental groups blocked a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) on Saturday to demand that the bank “respect the rights of indigenous peoples and to stop financing fossil fuels”, according to a press release from the group Solidarité Décoloniale.
The concerted action by Decolonial Solidarity, Divest McGill, Mouvement d'Action Régional en Environnement and Greenpeace Canada is just one of dozens that have taken place across Canada on the occasion of what the groups have decreed ” National Mobilization Day”.
RBC has positioned itself in opposition to Indigenous rights by recommending that its shareholders “oppose a proposal from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs”, criticizes Decolonial Solidarity in its press release. The purpose of the proposal was to enforce the right to consent of Indigenous nations with respect to the management of their territory, which is often affected by fossil fuel development projects. RBC is said to have supported certain fossil projects on the territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation.
At the environmental level, RBC’s hypocrisy is pointed out. While it has declared alignment with Paris Agreement targets, it has continued to fund polluting fossil fuel projects. A Competition Bureau investigation into RBC has also been launched for “misleading environmental statements. “RBC tells us it's a climate champion, but it doesn't even have a GHG reduction target,” laments Louis Ramirez of Decolonial Solidarity.
Activists demand “total alignment RBC investments with the right to free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples and concrete targets for the reduction of their financed emissions”