Hollywood celebrities have signed a petition organized to urge the Royal Bank of Canada to stop financing the Coastal GasLink, a gas pipeline set to cut through the Wet’suwet’en territory in northwestern British Columbia without the consent of local hereditary chiefs.
The petition, organized by Indigenous Climate Action, is signed by Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Taika Waititi, Scarlett Johansson, Jane Fonda and Robert Downey Jr., alongside many other actors, artists, athletes and musicians opposing the multibillion-dollar natural gas pipeline project.
These include director Ava DuVernay and actors Josh Gad, Mariska Hargitay, Rooney Mara, Julianne Moore, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller and Marisa Tomei. In Canada, opposition to the Coastal GasLink project has led to rallies and rail blockades across the country.
TC Energy, which is building the Coastal GasLink project, in a statement said it sought talks with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs opposed to a pipeline running through their territory: “Since the beginning of the project, Coastal GasLink has sought to engage and consult with the Wet’suwet’en Houses through the Office of the Wet’suwet’en and the elected leadership. We want to listen and seek meaningful ways to address interests and concerns, including ensuring the pipeline is built under the Morice River using the safest technology available.”
The open letter to City National Bank and Royal Bank of Canada follows:
We, the undersigned, demand that City National Bank’s parent company, Royal Bank of Canada:
Withdraw support from the Coastal GasLink pipeline, effective immediately.
Uphold, affirm and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples. It is critical that CNB and RBC not only “respect” the rights of Indigenous Peoples, but adhere to policies and practices that ensure the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous peoples as defined in the United Nations Declaration of The Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) under Article 32.
Stop funding fossil fuel expansion. CNB and RBC must end the funding of extreme fossil fuel expansion projects, specifically fracking and tar sands. The Alberta tar sands are exacerbating the climate crisis and why Canada is unable to meet its international climate commitments as agreed to at COP 26.
City National Bank’s parent company Royal Bank of Canada is bankrolling the climate crisis and violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Though RBC claims to be a leader in climate-conscious banking, since acquiring CNB in 2015 RBC has spent more $160 billion to become one of the world’s largest and most aggressive financiers of tar sands, fossil fuel extraction, and transport. RBC is now the fifth largest funder of fossil fuels in the world. BankingOnClimateChaos.org
Though publicly claiming to “respect the inherent right of Indigenous peoples to self-determination”, RBC is heavily invested in the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now bulldozing through the pristine territory and waters of the Wet’suwet’en Peoples, without the consent of the Hereditary Chiefs.
The time to defund Coastal GasLink is now. RBC must withdraw from the Coastal GasLink fracked gas pipeline now and stop financing fossil fuels.
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson Sign Petition Urging Bank to Stop Financing Canadian Gas Pipeline