Climate Justice Durham


PRESS RELEASE: April 6th 2024 Day of #Divestment Action

This press release was sent on April 4th to the following publications:, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, CBC, Bell Media, and Global TV.


On “Fossil Fools Day,” Durham Activists Take Action to Stop RBC from Financing Climate Crisis, Indigenous Rights Violations

DURHAM REGION — As climate disasters have become more frequent and more disruptive, Durham community members plan to protest against Canada’s biggest bank, which has doubled down on its commitment to funding fossil fuel projects.


The protest is scheduled for April 6th at 11am, in advance of RBC’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), and will take place outside of RBC’s 714 Rossland Road East branch.


The feature focus of this year’s AGM is a resolution inviting the bank to disclose its Clean Energy Supply Financing Ratio. The bank has recommended that its shareholders vote against the resolution.


Since Canada signed the Paris agreement in 2015, RBC has financed over $330 billion Canadian dollars of fossil fuel projects, including Coastal GasLink, a fracked gas pipeline that cuts directly across unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. Nonviolent Indigenous Land Defenders who blocked its construction suffered police brutality, including threats of lethal force.


The protest is part of a national day of action being held in solidarity with Indigenous Land Defenders. Protests will be occurring at dozens of branches across Canada, including Montreal, Vancouver, Halifax, Ottawa, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Hamilton. Customers, community members, and employees will learn more about how RBC’s investments are driving human rights abuses, as well as climate impacts such as severe weather events and unpredictable growing seasons.


“We don’t think people should be kept in the dark about this kind of thing,” said local youth climate activist Peter Cohen. “When people are already worried about grocery bills and other expenses, the last thing we need is more extreme weather events and disruptions to agriculture.”


Cohen also noted that “fossil fuels are a high-risk investment – yes, it may pay well in the short term, but it’s a long-term investment with long-term impacts. The infrastructure for extraction projects isn’t cheap. Once they’re built, it’s almost guaranteed that the owners will keep extracting and keep selling in order to recover costs, even if that’s not what we want, need, or can afford.”


RBC must align its actions with human rights and safety, with Canada’s long-term economic interests, and with the demands of science. We’re calling on RBC to rapidly phase out fossil fuel financing; respect Free, Prior, and Informed Consent; and ramp up investments in climate solutions. There is no business case for climate destruction or the violation of Indigenous rights.”

For further information and interview requests, please contact Peter Cohen (, 905-243-4703).

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