Climate strike in Williams Lake part of cross-Canada events

Third Planet Crusade leaders and participants stopped in front of the entrance to RBC in downtown Williams Lake to draw attention to RBC’s role in financing the fossil fuel industry. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Third Planet Crusade leaders and participants stopped in front of the entrance to RBC in downtown Williams Lake to draw attention to RBC’s role in financing the fossil fuel industry. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Climate strike action was taking place on the streets of Williams Lake, Toronto, Vancouver and other cities across Canada on Friday, March 25 to draw attention to the role of Canadian financial institutions in funding fossil fuels companies, including Enbridge and projects like Coastal Gas Link and Trans Mountain. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Climate strike action was taking place on the streets of Williams Lake, Toronto, Vancouver and other cities across Canada on Friday, March 25 to draw attention to the role of Canadian financial institutions in funding fossil fuels companies, including Enbridge and projects like Coastal Gas Link and Trans Mountain. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Third Planet Crusade and Climate Strike action leaders Ella Kruus and Julia Zirnhelt stand in front of Williams Lake’s city hall with some of the signs they made out of salvaged bark. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)Third Planet Crusade and Climate Strike action leaders Ella Kruus and Julia Zirnhelt stand in front of Williams Lake’s city hall with some of the signs they made out of salvaged bark. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake saw one of many Fridays For Futures ‘People Not Profit’ Global Day of Action events on March 25.

A group of local citizens holding signs and waving an Earth flag gathered on the steps of city hall and then walked a short loop downtown, including a stop in front of the Royal Bank (RBC).

The events were taking place across Canada and were initiated by youth activist groups to raise awareness of the role of Canadian financial institutions in funding fossil fuel projects contributing to climate change including the Coastal GasLink project and the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Williams Lake was included with Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Waterloo and Kingston in hosting the calls for an end to Canadian banks financing the fossil fuel industry.

RBC, Toronto Dominion, and Scotiabank are named as all making the top 12 of the largest financial investors in fossil fuels, according to a report titled Banking on Climate Chaos 2021 by the Rainforest Action Network.

RBC is cited in the report as the fifth largest investor on the list, making it the top of the Canadian banks.

Simultaneously, RBC’s own website shows the bank committed to net-zero emissions in their lending by 2050 and has joined the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, which promises to partner in supporting Paris Agreement goals in reducing carbon emissions.

Local Third Planet Crusade leaders Ella Kruus and Julia Zirnhelt are two Williams Lake high school students who have been campaigning for climate change action locally for years and have supported political campaigns for the Green Party candidates in the region.

The young activists said they have also placed questions to Williams Lake’s mayor and council regarding the city’s plan for combating climate change.

Read more: Third Planet Crusade Williams Lake host climate strike Sept. 24

Read more: Teens plan climate strike in Williams Lake for Friday, Nov. 6



ruth.lloyd@wltribune.com

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