Why environmentalists went after Canada's biggest bank for alleged greenwashing
RBC denies allegations and insists it is committed to net zero
Standing in the rain in downtown Montreal, Kukpi7 (Chief) Judy Wilson lifts her fist in defiance outside a branch of the Royal Bank of Canada. Wilson's gesture goes largely unnoticed by the shoppers who hurry past, but her efforts to hold banks accountable on financing fossil fuels have certainly caught the attention of Canadian regulators.
Wilson, based in south central British Columbia, is the chief of the Skat'sin te Secwepemc-Neskonlith Indian Band and the secretary-treasurer for the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC).
She's also one of six applicants who filed a complaint to Canada's Competition Bureau, accusing RBC of greenwashing — something that prompted the regulator to open an inquiry into whether Canada's biggest bank misled customers about its climate action.
"It's time to be truthful," said Wilson, who spoke with CBC News while in Montreal for a meeting.
"[Climate change] is real, it's here and we have to deal with it."
The allegations, filed with the help of environmental law non-profit Ecojustice, suggest the bank has been marketing itself as being aligned with the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, all while continuing to finance the fossil fuel industry.