Jul 18, 2017 - Desjardins Group Suspends New Investments in Pipelines
The Montreal based Desjardins Group, North America’s biggest association of credit unions, announced on July 7th that they are temporarily suspending any new investments in energy pipelines citing concerns over environmental impact.
According to company spokesperson Jacques Bouchard Desjardins Group has, “temporarily suspended lending for such projects and may make the decision permanent in September.”
This means that they will not be helping finance the recently approved Tar Sands pipelines including TransCanada’s Keystone XL and Energy East and Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 pipeline.
The announcement follows the Dutch based bank ING has statement that they will not invest in four recently approved Canadian Tar Sands pipelines.
In early June, a coalition of Indigenous activists and organizations and environmental groups sent a joint letter to financial institutions calling on them to not invest in Tar Sands pipelines.
It states, “Tar sands pipelines and other fossil fuel infrastructure desecrate Indigenous lands, violate Free Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) affirmed in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), destabilize our climate and lock us into decades of fossil fuel dependence.”
In May, a coalition of grassroots Indigenous leaders launched a global campaignto defund Tar Sands pipelines.
“Divestment is the next stage in the fight against the black snake that has come to poison our lands,” says Matt Remle of Last Real Indians and co-founder of Mazaska Talks, a leader of the coalition that successfully pushed the City of Seattle to divest over $3 billion from DAPL banks earlier this year. “Big oil and their financial backers are not persuaded by moral and environmental arguments, so it is time to hit them in the pocket book.”
Seattle action against Wells Fargo for funding oil pipelines.
Despite the suspension of financing future Tar Sands pipelines, Desjardins Group is still currently committed to $145-million in funding for the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline.
The coalition will continue to push for Desjardins Group to sell off $145-million investment in the Kinder Morgan pipeline and to make its temporary suspension of funding pipelines, permanent.