This is the Royal Bank of Canada’s response to an op-ed by Mark Ruffalo and Sleydo’ Molly Wickham published Tuesday on “Rolling Stone.”
We believe climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time, and everyone has a role to play. But our lives, economies, and security today depend on continued access to energy until alternative sources are feasible. To avoid a global energy and economic crisis, we need to see this transition as moving the dial, not flicking a switch. Narrow, reactive approaches are not solutions. Simply cutting off access to sources of natural gas would destroy communities and cause significant hardship — things we take for granted like heating our homes, transporting food, and the mobility of everyday citizens would be incredibly difficult.
RBC believes in an inclusive transition, and we’re doing this by financing projects that are innovative, responsible, and renewable to make sure we can meet our world’s energy needs for the future.
Coastal GasLink is an example of a responsible project, and we are one of 26 banks who support it. It has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the pipeline route, and 16 councils have signed an equity option agreement to take an ownership position in the project, which will help create financial independence. Members of the Wet’suwet’en community support the project because of the opportunity to improve the lives of their community members.
We respect there are differing opinions within Indigenous communities, and as we’ve sought input from many members, they’ve told us that these differences are best resolved within their own communities.
As Crystal Smith, the elected chief councillor of the Haisla Nation wrote in the National Post recently: “Companies like LNG Canada and the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which will supply it with gas, came to Haisla and delivered what we have needed for a century — a share and a say.”