Right now, the Trump administration is fast tracking oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (along the border of Alaska and Yukon). Canadian banks, including the Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, and CIBC may be the pivotal players in stopping this project in its tracks.
You see, even if oil companies buy pieces of the Refuge with high hopes of development, what if no bank finances their project? That’s right. If a company can’t find enough investors to fund its climate-wrecking plans, then the Arctic Refuge stays free of roads, oil wells, and pipelines.
The Gwich’in call the coastal plain “Iizhik Gwats’an Gwandaii Goodlit” or “the sacred place where life begins.” It’s the calving and nursery grounds of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, a key food source for the Gwich’in people. Every year the Porcupine caribou undertake an incredible trek starting in the Northwest Territories to reach this safe haven. It goes without saying that any industrial activity, like oil development, would be devastating to caribou calves.
Will show support for the Gwich'in by taking action for the Arctic Refuge?
Canadian Banks - Refuse to finance drilling in the Arctic Refuge
To Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank, and CIBC:
I urge you to withhold financing any and all oil development and drilling in the Arctic Refuge, birthplace of the Porcupine caribou herd. Oil activity in this special place is a violation of human rights of the Gwich’in people, and poses unacceptable reputational and financial risk for your company.
The Arctic Refuge is sacred land for the Gwich’in Nation, who have lived in the region for countless generations and are unanimous in their defense of it. Drilling in the Arctic Refuge would have devastating human and ecological impacts and would industrialize one of North America’s last wild places. Any oil and gas company that tries to drill in the Refuge -- and by extension, any bank that finances their activities -- will undoubtedly face enormous public and investor backlash.