Switch Banks to Slow Climate Change

Recap

The satisfACTION post on Dec 18th invited readers to add their support to the 5 Point Action Plan of the newly minted ‘Citizens Concerned About Coalbed Methane’. Hundreds of people have since signed onto the plan, some of whom included personal comments

By supporting the Coalbed Methane Action Plan, you are helping to fight Climate Change, because CBM is one of the most greenhouse gas intensive forms of energy. Dogwood and other groups are trying to minimize its exploitation in BC.

Looking to throw your full weight into the fight against Climate Change?

Choosing a Bank 

The bank you choose can have a huge differential impact on the climate. When most people decide to open an account with this or that Bank they do so on the basis of everyday considerations, like does the Bank have:  a branch close to home or work?;  convenient hours?; competitive interest rates?; a credit card loyalty program?

Some people look at broader issues:  does the Bank have a good record in the community and progressive employment or environmental policies?

Few people probably choose their Bank based on how much greenhouse gas emissions their account would likely create by virtue of the Bank’s various investments. 

How the heck could someone be expected to figure that out?

Answer: Someone Has Done the Work For You

Ranking Banks’ Climate Impacts

The Rainforest Action Network, a San Francisco-based group with a reputation for taking on Big Banks in the US, has recently launched a campaign to put pressure on Canada’s banks like TD, BMO, CIBC and RBC to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of their investments.

If you use TD, BMO, RBC, CIBC, or Scotiabank,then your dollars are being used to fund Alberta’s tar sands

For example, if you have an account with one of Canada’s major Banks, then your dollars are being used to fund Alberta’s tar sands: the fastest growing contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, and “the most destructive project on earth”.

RAN has launched a new website that allows you to calculate the greenhouse gas footprint of your account with some of Canada’s banks, which is backed up by a 294 page report and analysis.

For example, they conclude that moving $10,000 from Scotiabank, the highest-carbon footprint bank, to Vancity, the low- carbon bank leader, avoids an amount of financed CO2 (1,430 kg CO2) comparable to:

  • Not driving a small car for five months, or

  • Replacing an average car with one that gets 33 percent better gas mileage, or

  • Eliminating seven two-hour airplane flights per year

What You Can Do Today

Bank Card Cutting

I currently have accounts with both BMO and TD. After checking out climatefriendlybanking.com, I’ve decided to switch them both to VanCity. This action may take more work than most, but I’m expecting that with more work will come more satisfaction. I can’t wait to cut up my TD and BMO cards, and take a picture of myself doing it.  If you undertake this mission, send a copy of your card-cutting picture through the campaign website and to me (eric@dogwoodbc.ca) and I’ll post it here.


satisfACTION Blog

The satisfACTION blog is about activism in BC – themethods, theories, and stories of how people are working together formore perfect communities . Ever felt a need to change things, but don’tknow where to start?  I’ll showcase opportunities for personallysatisfying and meaningful actions. Read the intro to the blog here.

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