Today was a #fossilbanksnothanks day of action. You may have gotten a call or an email. Perhaps someone posted an ‘eviction notice’ or a poster at your branch. Maybe you’re thinking about how to react to some bad press or criticisms on social media.
The first thing we want to say is: we aren’t mad at YOU, we are angry about some of your bank’s actions.
People are scared and angry because a preventable disaster is unfolding across the planet. It has already killed thousands, flooded and burned homes, driven species into extinction and every new fossil fuel project brings us closer to even worse disasters. But that anger isn’t directed at you.
I put up some posters in the Dufferin and Eglinton area myself today. And it got me thinking about how the people inside will react. Bank employees are providing an essential service during a pandemic and many of you are frontline workers as well! We salute you for that. We also know that you don’t have much power over fossil fuel lending policies in such a large organization — but you do have a little bit more power than we do! You can tell your branch manager that you’re worried about climate change too and it’s customers AND employees at your branch who would like to ask the District Manager what is coming down the pipeline in terms of climate policy. If you do social media or customer service, you can mention the day of action and say it would be a lot easier for you to respond if your bank had stronger climate policies.
The one thing we have to be clear about is that ANY lending for new fossil fuel projects is dangerous. Just burning the fossil fuels we’ve already developed will bring us to the brink past the Paris Accord’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5C. There is no explaining away the fact that making a new loan to a fossil fuel company today will lock in rise emissions for decades to come.
So here is our request — let’s all work together, instead of against each other, and get Canadian banks to roll out stronger climate policies in 2021. Thank you for your time and your service!