Mark Ruffalo

‘People Listen To Us’: Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Others Demand Bank To Defund Canada Gas Pipeline

Celebrities have a lot of influence. They are famous and have a massive platform to speak from. Their fans will often listen intently to everything they say. If a celebrity speaks out against something, that cause will gain a lot of traction really quickly. This is what is currently happening in regards to the Canada Gas Pipelne. Notable celebrities such as Avengers star Mark Ruffalo are speaking out against it. His petition has garnered other celebrity supporters as well.

Celebrities Say ‘No’ To Canada Gas Pipeline

Pipeline opposers recently wrote an open letter to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) to withdraw their financial support for the Canada GasLink pipeline. More than 65 celebrities have signed it and are now speaking out against the pipeline. The most vocal of these is Mark Ruffalo. The Avengers star said that he banks with City National Bank (CNB), which is a subsidiary of RBC. When he found out about the financial connection between his bank and the pipeline, he started speaking out. (1)

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“I said, hey guys, I don’t know if you know this, but most of your clients are fighting for climate change action and Indigenous rights, and you have our money funding the tar sands and the Coastal GasLink pipeline,” Ruffalo told CBC. “I don’t want my money funding this, I know that people in Hollywood who’ve signed on to this letter don’t want their money funding this.”

More than 64 other Hollywood celebrities have signed the letter. Many of them also bank with CNB. This group includes Leonardo Di Caprio, Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Jane Fonda, and Marisa Tomei.

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Why Are They Against The Pipeline?

The petition is titled No More Dirty Banks. CNB is considered to be one of the banks to the stars. The petition states that RBC and NBC are violating indigenous rights and putting money into continuing the climate crisis, rather than stopping it. This is because other groups have accused the pipeline, which is being installed in Northern British Columbia, of doing just that.

The pipeline is being built through the territory of the Wet’suwet’en Nation. The company, Coastal GasLink, says the project is fully permitted by the government. They also say it has the support of all 20 First Nation band councils, including five of the six band councils in the Wet’suwet’en Nation. (2)

The hereditary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en, however, are opposed to the project. They say that the band councils don’t have authority over land beyond reserve boundaries. The indigenous groups and those who signed the letter also remind us that the pipeline is simply furthering use of fossil fuels. Not only could this damage the Wet’suwet’en land, but it is only fuelling the climate crisis, not solving it.

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 “City National Bank’s parent company Royal Bank of Canada is bankrolling the climate crisis and violating the rights of Indigenous Peoples.” the letter states.

Read: Sitting Bull’s great-grandson identified through DNA fragments

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No More Dirty Banks

Some of the celebrities who signed the letter got together to film an informational video about the pipeline. They want to educate the public about what’s wrong with the pipeline and also why they believe the banks should stop supporting it.

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In the video, Ruffalo mentions how RBC has made commitments to indigenous human rights. He points out, however, that this pipeline goes directly against that commitment. In an interview, he mentioned that none of the celebrity members of CNB want to pull their money out of the bank. If this doesn’t stop, however, they might just have to.

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“At this point, the most effective thing any of us can do is pull our money out of institutions that continue to fund the fossil fuel industry,” said Ruffalo.

Coastal GasLink says, of course, that they have been attentive to the needs of the Wet’suwet’en since the beginning. They say they have listened and will install the pipeline in the safest way possible. Of course, the Wet’suwet’en people disagree. (3)

“Coastal GasLink recognizes that Indigenous reconciliation and addressing climate change are essential to creating a better, more sustainable world,” they said in a statement. “We would encourage everyone interested to take the time to understand all the facts and the important role Indigenous communities have in developing and building the Project.”

Time will tell what happens with both the pipeline and the banks’ role in it.

Keep Reading: How the Women of Standing Rock Inspired the World

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Sources

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  1. Avengers star Mark Ruffalo joins campaign against B.C. pipeline with call for RBC to end funding.” CBC. March 18, 2022.
  2. Hollywood A-listers crusade to get RBC to stop financing Coastal GasLink pipeline in northern B.C.” The Star. Binny Paul. March 16, 2022.
  3. Mark Ruffalo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Stiller and more stars sign letter protesting Canada Gas Pipeline.” Fox News. Janelle Ash.
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.
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