This week, Greenpeace Canada released the Money Can’t Buy Our Love report with the Canadian youth-led organization Banking on a Better Future. The report highlights marketing techniques used by the top five Canadian banks (RBC, TD, Scotiabank, BMO and CIBC) in philanthropic ventures to draw in young customers.
As reported in Toronto’s NOW Magazine:
Banks have long mounted impressive branding campaigns to highlight their support of arts and cultural organizations. Their logos and financial might are now increasing behind campaigns on university campuses and high schools.
But banks are profit-driven institutions, and while posing as philanthropists, their contributions also distract us from the very real harm these institutions cause through their financing of fossil fuel projects that pump climate chaos and violate Indigenous rights. Banks are putting their reputation at risk with youth by continuously betting on destructive fossil fuels.
The Royal Bank of Canada, for example, has a particularly well-crafted portfolio that emphasizes the interests of youth. It includes a $50 million per year Future Launch program and initiatives like Tech for Nature designed to encourage growth in the cleantech sector with the aim of “preserving the world’s greatest wealth: our natural ecosystem.”
Except, $50 million a year is a trickle compared to the $208 billion in RBC financing directed to new fossil fuel expansion projects since 2016, which earns it the title of Canada’s largest fossil fuel funder. The disparity is shocking.