In a high profile article titled “Why your banking habits matter for the climate“, the British Broadcasting Corporation made the case that while it “may not be the most obvious way of reducing your carbon footprint, how you save, invest, and give away your money can make a difference to the climate”.

You as an individual customer can influence the investment behaviour of your chosen bank, says Louise Rouse, a capital markets campaigner and consultant to various non-profits.

“Banking institutions want to maintain retail bank divisions, that’s important to them,” she says. “It’s also how they build brand identity, it’s how they build social license, which gives them political power and so on. So, individuals indicating that a bank’s climate performance is an important factor for them in their choice of bank will have an impact.”

A good place to start is to research your bank’s policies.

Of course if your bank is any of the Big 5 Canadian banks, your research will show they are all among the top 22 worst banks for financing fossil fuels on Earth. Better look up your local credit union!

Read the full “Smart Guide” at the BBC website.

This week, our US partners Stop the Money Pipeline organized a #DefundLine3 Global Day of Action, with protests at bank branches in Japan, Switzerland, Sierra Leone, Costa Rica, the UK, Holland, France and Canada, as well as about 50 cities in the U.S.

All 5 Canadian banks are major funders of Enbridge.

The actions aim to pressure banks to stop funding the Line 3 tar sands pipeline. You can see photos from the actions here.

The global day of action comes just one month after many of the target banks agreed to give Enbridge ― the company building Line 3 ― a “sustainability-linked” loan. The details of what makes the loan “sustainability-linked” have not been disclosed. According to Enbridge’s Environmental Impact Statement, Line 3 would result in an additional 193 million tons of greenhouse gas being released into the atmosphere each year.

According to one study, Line 3 would result in as much additional greenhouse gas being released into the atmosphere, as the building of fifty new coal-fired power plants. Key permits for the pipeline were granted to Enbridge by the Trump Administration weeks before Trump left office.

More than 250 people have now been arrested for taking action to stop the construction of Line 3. Since the #DefundLine3 campaign launched in February 2021, there have been protests at bank branches in 16 states and activists have sent more than 700,000 emails and 7,000 calendar invites to bank executives and made more than 3,000 phone calls, demanding that they stop funding Line 3.

Stop the Money Pipeline is a coalition of over 150 organizations focused on holding the financial backers of climate chaos accountable.

Check out this inspiring wrap up video to see some of the most creative actions: