Public Action

As citizens, taxpayers, consumers, and shareholders, we have interest in persuading or demanding financial and other institutions to decarbonize the economy by divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy and green technology. Some institutions are in the public sector, such as the Bank of Canada and energy utilities. Some are in the private sector, such as banks and manufacturing companies. 

Financial Institutions

Most people have a bank account to facilitate paying their bills, obtaining loans and safeguarding their savings. Some have life insurance policies. Customers have the right to know whether their financial institutions are climate-friendly. Do they have a policy on avoiding lending to fossil fuel producers and supporting green technology and renewable energy?

  • Network member Below2C envisions a fossil-free Canada during our grandchildren’s lifetime. Check out their latest campaign #FossilBanksNoThanks and watch this video with co-founder Rolly Montpellier about how you can get involved!


Governments at all levels run financial and other agencies whose activities may alleviate or exacerbate climate risk. Examples include the Federal Government’s Crown Corporations, Export Development Canada, and at the provincial level, energy utilities such as Hydro One in Ontario. Citizens have the right to know whether these public institutions are helping achieve Canada’s GHG emission reduction targets.

  • Curious about how the Government of Canada could build back better in the wake of COVID-19? The Task Force for a Resilient Recovery is calling for the government to restart the economy with the environment in mind.
  • Find out how Export Development Canada continues to support the oil and gas sector in the midst of a global pandemic by following this blog series by Environmental Defence.

Private Corporations

Private corporations in the resource, manufacturing or service sectors may contribute to global warming by emitting GHGs, or they can help mitigate global warming through adopting green technology. Shareholders can challenge or commend managements of such companies by sponsoring resolutions at annual meetings.

  • Keep tabs on what Canadian leaders from business, think tanks, labour, Indigenous Peoples, youth, and NGO communities are doing to ensure a greener economy by checking out the Smart Prosperity Leaders’ Initiative.
  • The Smart Prosperity Institute, out of the University of Ottawa offers resources, policy and market ideas for ensuring a cleaner economy. Check out their initiatives on a low-carbon economy, building a circular economy and ensuring Canada is moving towards a sustainable finance industry.