Thank you for signing our open letter to Senators!
Thanks to all those who signed this letter in support of the Climate-Aligned Finance Act! It was sent out on May 18, 2023, with over 200 signatures and many personal comments from parents and grandparents concerned about the climate crisis.
We'll keep you posted on the movement of this bill in the Senate, and other climate-aligned financial policy! Unfamiliar with CAFA? Learn more here.
We are parents, grandparents, caregivers and constituents who live across Canada, and we are writing to you with an urgent request.
As parents and grandparents, we are deeply concerned about the climate crisis and the world our children will inherit, as the window of opportunity to secure a liveable future rapidly closes. With Canada’s financial sector continuing to fund fossil fuel expansion and heavily exposed to climate-related risk, we urgently need policy tools to reroute the financial sector’s action on climate change.
The Climate-Aligned Finance Act (Bill S-243), tabled last year in the Senate by Senator Rosa Galvez, is a comprehensive piece of legislation that would align Canada’s financial system with climate science and commitments. CAFA would:
Require all federally-regulated financial institutions to have credible plans to meet Canada’s climate commitments
Address conflict of interest on the boards of federally-regulated financial institutions and build climate expertise on the boards of major Crown corporations
Avoid carbon lock-in and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples
CAFA is currently at second reading and awaiting Senator action to move it to committee. Discussing CAFA in committee is an essential part of the Senate’s role. This would allow thoughtful engagement about the systemic risks that climate change poses to Canada’s financial system.
In a January 2022 study, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) and the Bank of Canada found that climate change leaves Canada’s financial system exposed to systemic risk and business default, particularly in the fossil fuel sector. The study highlights that "delaying climate policy action increases the overall economic impacts and risks to financial stability." OSFI has drafted guidance that federally regulated entities disclose exposure to climate-related risks, but further policies are needed. CAFA presents a key opportunity for the Senate to discuss the next steps for Canadian financial policy. This would not only create the regulatory clarity to build a more stable financial system, but also allow investors to seize opportunities in a rapidly decarbonizing world.
Senators, the future of our children and all Canadians depends on you. We trust that you recognize the significance of your role and share our desire for a safe, equitable future for everyone.
We ask that you speak to the importance of CAFA in Senate and call for a vote on the bill, so that it may progress to committee review as soon as possible. We have no time to waste.
Parents, grandparents and caregivers and constituents across Canada
Support the Climate-Aligned Finance Act!
Canada’s financial sector is fueling the climate crisis and undermining opportunities to transition to a low-carbon economy. Canada’s big banks are all among the top 20 fossil fuel funders in the world, with RBC taking the title of top oil and gas financier in 2022. Despite claims to take the climate crisis and Indigenous sovereignty seriously, Canada’s financial institutions continue to push us further away from reconciliation, supporting projects without free, prior and informed consent that violate Indigenous rights, and refusing to take accountability.
Financial institutions cannot be trusted to take the right actions themselves, which is why we hope parents, grandparents and allies will ask our government to create stronger rules. Senator Rosa Galvez has tabled Bill S-243 – the Climate-Aligned Finance Act in the Senate. This act would:
ensure Canada’s banks develop credible plans in line with climate science and commitments
address conflicts of interest between financial institutions and the fossil fuel industry
help us avoid carbon lock-in and enshrine respect for Indigenous peoples.
The Banking For Our Kids campaign believes that this legislation would be a huge first step to bring Canada’s financial sector in line with climate science, mitigate growing risks to our financial system, and start pushing for an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy.
What’s happening with the Climate-Aligned Finance Act (CAFA)?
CAFA was introduced in the Canadian Senate last year. The next step is bringing it to the Senate committee for discussion. At this point, organizations (including members of For Our Kids) can present evidence in favour of the bill or recommend changes. If CAFA passes through the Senate, MPs will vote on it in the House of Commons.
What can we do?
Since CAFA is currently sitting in the Senate, there is an opportunity to encourage Senators to push the bill forward to be studied in committee. MPs can also be encouraged to introduce or support climate-aligned financial policy through the House of Commons and show their party understands the need for a financial system that is safe for the climate. In theory, there could be climate finance bills in both the Senate and House simultaneously. In fact, this would be a great way to create pressure from all sides to tackle this urgent issue.
How do we do it?
We need you to contact Senators and your local MP to stress the importance of climate-aligned financial policy. You can email key senators and your local MP to put this issue at the front of their minds.
- Set up a meeting to talk with a Senator about the bill and why it’s important. Here’s a list of Senate leaders and members of Senators for Climate Solutions. You can use this draft email and agenda with key talking points. If you want to meet with a Senator and have questions about how to approach it, send an email to [email protected]. I’d be happy to discuss the best talking points for Senators with different affiliations. No luck setting up a meeting? Use the agenda's key talking points to send an email or letter!
- Set up a meeting with your MP to talk about the need for strong climate-aligned financial policy. Find your MP here. Use this draft email and this agenda with key talking points, and feel free to reach out to [email protected] if you want support preparing for the meeting.
- Share this action page with your For Our Kids team and your wider network! We encourage you to have meetings with Senators and MPs as a team or in groups to show strength in numbers. The more people who push for this, the likelier they are to act on it.
- If you want to learn more about fixing finance for climate change, you can also sign up here to learn from Environmental Defence about climate and sustainable finance - and stay in the loop about actions to encourage the government to align our financial systems with a safe climate.
Banking For Our Kids Campaign Update
Wondering what’s happening with the Banking For Our Kids campaign? March and April are some of our busiest months!
With bank AGM season in a few weeks and lots of info-sessions in the works, it’s a great time to tune in and get involved. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming up, and how For Our Kids can help you have an impact.
Move Your Money for Climate Justice!
On March 9th, For Our Kids hosted a webinar with Banking on a Better Future, our collaborators in the youth banking movement, to talk about why Big Banks are a problem, how we can act in solidarity with Indigenous communities, and what to think about when divesting your money from oil and gas. Check out the recording here.
We also put together a TOOLKIT of different actions you can take with your team or on your own to start divesting your money or pressuring your bank as part of this campaign moment!
RBC's Annual General Meeting
Over the next couple of weeks, organizations across the country, including FOK, are getting ready to put pressure on RBC in the lead-up to their AGM on April 5th. RBC is Canada’s biggest funder of fossil fuels and finances many projects being built through Indigenous territories without consent, such as the Coastal Gaslink, TransMountain and Line 3 Pipelines.
RBC’s AGM is in Saskatoon this year, and land defenders from Wet’suwet’en and other affected communities, as well as climate organizers, will be there to hold them accountable.
So how can you get involved?
Fossil Fools National Day of Action
April 1 - National event map here
To show our solidarity with activists taking on RBC in the boardroom, we’re planning a national day of action on April 1! The goal is to call out RBC as a fossil fool, and draw attention to how they fund climate chaos and projects in Indigenous territory without consent right before they meet their shareholders. Check out the map for an event near your, or use this toolkit to plan your own branch action wherever you live! This will be a massive cross-country moment that we'd love you to be a part of. If you can't make it out, you can always share and retweet all the exciting action you're seeing online.
Better Banks Learning Series
As we take action over the coming weeks, we also want to develop our knowledge about banks and the climate crisis – How can we be sustainable investors when banks are so heavily invested in oil and gas? What’s the role of regulation in making banks align with climate science? These are some of the questions we’re hoping to answer. Are there other things you want us to cover? Reach out to [email protected] to share your ideas.
Sustainable Investing 101 with Tim Nash
March 30th at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST
Join us for a session with Good Investing founder Tim Nash! This energetic and educational talk will provide an overview of sustainable investing theory and application. We'll cover topics like divestment, environmental social & governance (ESG) analysis, and impact investing.
Fossil Finance 101: How regulating banks can cut emissions
April 20th at 10 am PST / 1 pm EST
Join us for a session with Environmental Defence's Julie Segal to learn about the relationship between finance and climate change, and why bank regulation is a crucial piece of bringing Canada's Big Banks in line with climate science and putting an end to fossil finance.
Join the Banking For Our Kids campaign!
We're demanding Canada's big banks stop investing in the climate crisis and start banking on a future for our kids, and we'd love you to join us!
Interested in taking action in your community or at your local branch? Already involved and looking for more support? Sign up to receive updates on our campaign and be part of our network.Sign up