Toronto350 has partnered with a growing list of climate justice organizations to put the top 5 Canadian banks in the hot-seat, highlighting their appetite for climate destruction. People across Canada are booking call-in phone appointments with their home branches, expressing their concerns about their bank’s fossil fuel financing.
WHY SHOULD YOU CALL?
First, as a customer entrusting your money to an institution, you deserve a clear explanation about their fossil fuel entanglements. If they can’t give you that – well, it might be time for a good old #BankSwitch! Second, talking to a bank representative is one of the best high-impact actions we can take as individuals. The job of bank managers and representatives is to gain and retain customers and make them happy, and are therefore quite sensitive to your feedback.
HOW SHOULD YOU CALL?
WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY?
Ask to speak to a branch manager if possible. The exact messaging is up to you, but some good starting points you can use are:
"I am increasingly worried about climate change and what that will mean for myself and my family."
"What can you tell me about the steps this bank is taking to address my climate change concerns?"
- "I am planning to switch my finances on April 22nd (Earth Day) to the bank with the most sustainable investment policies."
Give your bank a deadline of April 22 (Earth Day) 2021. If your bank does clean up their act, you won’t have to actually moving your money. If they fail to act, send them a reminder and then make a plan to switch banks on a day that works for you.
Once you call, consider letting us know how it went! Take a minute to fill out our BankSwitch Appointment Tracker. We're capturing the number of calls being made as a way to chart progress.
It's time to put Canadian banks on notice and stop fossil fuel projects at their source. Let's do this together!
RESOURCES & DOWNLOADS
BankSwitch - from Climate Pledge Collective - The official BankSwitch campaign webpage with helpful information & talking points on how to pressure your bank to commit to positive change.
Eviction Notices - Download & print these 8.5 x 11" Eviction Notices and tape to bank doors in your neighbourhood. Let them know that concerned customers are planning to move their money if the banks don't make major changes.
Click to Tweet Links - Use these ready-made Tweets with both generic & bank-specific content. Use the handy Click to Tweet links to get them set up even quicker.
Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Climate Report 2020 - Rainforest Action Network's 2020 report on Banks financing Climate Change with hard facts on the vast amount of money each bank has been pumping into fossil fuel projects.
Throne Speech Promises Interim Report - November 12, 2020
We've been tracking actions the federal government has taken (or failed to take) since the throne speech on September 23rd! See a small section of the report below. Click here for the full Interim Report!
*Promises that were made are highlighted in green.
*Suggested actions not explicitly mentioned in speech are highlighted in Red.
1) Health and Wellbeing - Puts people's health and wellbeing first. No exceptions.
a) Protects the Environment
|Action||Pass √ Fail X||Notes|
X - G20 energy communiqué sign-on.
√ - Signed Leaders Pledge for Nature.
X - Haven’t met current pledges yet.
X - Haven’t shown effective national leadership.
Shift away from harmful industry.
X - Need to move economy, global trade, and subsidies away from destructive practises.
Respect Indigenous land stewardship, sovereignty, laws, values.
X - Indigenous land rights violations.
X - Need to centre Indigenous Land Stewardship.
Use nature-based solutions(plant trees).
X - Tree-planting delayed.
N1 - Initiated by Saudi Arabia, the G20 energy communiqué includes fossil fuel bailouts, doesn’t mention Fossil Fuel subsidies, and endorses a “circular economy” strategy that depends a lot on unproven carbon capture methods, distracting from what is actually needed: a reduction of emissions.
N2 - Next UN General Assembly High Level Week in September 2021, will review progress and reaffirm.
N3 - “To address and alleviate human rights questions, social justice issues, and conservation challenges, the Global Safety Net calls for better protection for Indigenous communities….” (1) Yet, from coast to coast, we see Indigenous communities trying to protect land and water subjected to rights violations.
N4 - “Environmentalism and Indigenous rights must go hand in hand. Those who have stewarded these lands for thousands of years hold the knowledge and relationships key to carrying forward the legacy of thriving ecosystems.” “....sovereignty claims are inextricably linked to the health and sustainability of the lands and waters they care for.” (2)
- Countries Miss All 20 Targets Under UN Biodiversity Convention
- Indigenous Stewardship is true Conservation: We Need to Move Beyond Eco-Colonialism - Maia Wikler, October 30, 2020, raventrust.com
N5 - No trees planted and no money allotted to the tree-planting program in 2019.
Click here for the full Interim Report!
On Wednesday, September 23rd, our government delivered its highly anticipated Throne Speech to unveil post-pandemic recovery plans. You can find the throne speech here.
This moment in history is an unprecedented chance to #BuildBackBetter and insist on a #JustRecoveryforAll and a livable future.
This means acting on the climate crisis and no longer funding destructive industry. It means helping workers and communities during a Just Transition to a circular economy of care. It means acting for racial justice and insisting that people and planet are no longer harmed and devalued. We must have a greener, healthier and equitable future! The time is now.
As part of the week for climate action, spearheaded by Fridays for Future Toronto (FFFTO) and culminating in the Global Day of Climate Action, Toronto350 has weighed in on how the Throne Speech stacks up next to a Green & Just Recovery, and issued the Report Card below.
A grade of "A" would meet expectations and far exceed them, "B" meets the expectations, "C" meets some but falls short and an "F doesn't meet any.
See an excerpt from our Report Card Comments below.
1) Put people's HEALTH & WELLBEING first. No exceptions.
• Protects the Environment: GRADE C
The Climate Crisis is a health crisis! As the throne speech reinforced, “Canadians [know] climate change threatens our health, way of life, and planet. They want climate action now, and that is what the Government will continue to deliver.” So far though, the Government actually hasn’t delivered enough climate action and commitments fall short of what is needed to protect the environment.
Some of the commitments in the speech, following the acknowledgment “of the importance of nature” include:
- expand urban green spaces
- meet prior commitment to protect a quarter of the country’s lands and waters
- use nature-based solutions to address the climate crisis (i.e. fulfill program to plant 2 billion trees)
While these are important steps for ensuring an intact ecosystem and protecting peoples’ health and wellbeing, we need significant action to protect biodiversity and create nature-based carbon sinks like those represented by the Boreal Forest and agroecology. The speech doesn’t fully address industrial practises that harm nature. It also does not acknowledge Indigenous land stewardship....
For more comments and Watch Party Asides see Report Card Comments!
Stay tuned for:
- Additional Responses
- Video Response: Parent-Teacher Interview
- Printable posters to share in your neighbourhood
- Social media graphics & posts
Click here for more on TO350’s Grading Touchstones framed by the Just Recovery Principles.