One of the most powerful tools we have as parents and grandparents to demand climate action is directing where our savings and pension plan funds are invested.
All working Canadians are members of at least one of the top 10 pension funds that invest more than $1.6 trillion in retirement savings, often into fossil fuels. Most mortgages, RRSPs and savings accounts are through one of the big five Canadian banks which currently pour hundreds of billions into fossil fuels.
We need our banks and pensions to shift rapidly out of fossil fuels and into clean energy instead. Ready to take action?
1. Start by sending this quick email to the CEOs of Canada's big 5 banks.
2. Get in touch with your pension plan and your bank. You can do this on your own by making an appointment with your bank manager and contacting your pension plan fund manager. If you're not sure where to start, here's a step-by-step guide from Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health. You can find information about contacting your bank and template letters on the Bank Switch site. Tell your story about why saving for your kids' future doesn't make sense if those savings support the destruction of that future.
3. Get your family and friends together. Bring your kids along when you talk to your bank manager. Host an online discussion with other concerned parents and grandparents. Hold a safely-distanced demonstration weekly in front of your bank. Encourage everyone you know to send their own letters and emails to their banks and pension fund managers.
Most of all, record your actions, share them with your networks, and with For Our Kids so we can amplify your voices. Stay tuned as this campaign continues to grow across the country. You can reach us at hello [at] forourkids [dot] ca
Here's a great, easy-to-follow introduction hosted by For Our Kids Toronto, including presentations by Adam Scott of Shift: Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health and Matthew Lie-Paehlke of Climate Pledge Collective.
And check out this April 12 op-ed about how Canada's bank regulator has so far missed the mark.