Freezing financing

The largest bank in Canada has joined a growing list of financial companies that won’t directly fund leases to drill in the Arctic Refuge.

“Due to its particular ecological and social significance and vulnerability, RBC will not provide direct financing for any project or transaction that involves exploration or development in the ANWR,” the Royal Bank of Canada announced.

The bank has faced criticism as the biggest funder of fossil fuel development in Canada. RBC is one of dozens of financial institutions to limit funding for Arctic oil and gas exploration. Earlier this year, five major U.S. banks, including Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo and J.P. Morgan Chase, pledged to not finance drilling projects.

The announcement comes at a time when the U.S. government is moving swiftly to lease oil projects in the pristine coastal regions of the Refuge that is home to polar bears, caribou, grizzlies, wolves, wolverines, muskoxen and more than 130 species of migratory birds. More than 19 million acres of wild lands in the Refuge were first set aside for protection in 1960. But in a move to obtain support for the 2017 Republican tax measure from Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, Congress agreed to open the 1.6 million- acre coastal plain region in the Arctic Refuge to oil and gas exploration.










France take action to end exploitation of animals in entertainment

France has announced several measures to put an end to the exploitation of animals for entertainment. Bears, elephants, lions and other wild animals will no longer be on display in traveling circuses and the country’s marine parks won’t be able to bring in nor breed dolphins or killer whales.

“It is time to open a new era in our relationship with these (wild) animals,” said Barbara Pompili, the country’s minister of ecological transition, in a news conference.

While Pompili did not put a timeline on the circus ban she said the process should start as soon as possible. The prohibition on the marine mammals is immediate.

Pompili also said France will end mink farming for fur in the country within the next five years.

More than 15 countries have enacted bans on animals in circuses in recent years. In the U.S., Hawaii and New Jersey and California have banned the use of most wild animals in circuses. California has also banned fur sales in the state.












Major retailer joins fur free fashion movement

And speaking of fur free, another large department store chain has joined a list of fashion houses and retailers who will no longer sell fur products. Nordstrom announced in September that starting in 2021 it will ban fur and exotic animal skins from its stores.

Its own private label stopped selling furs more than five years ago. Now under its new policy the store will no longer sell products made from alligators, crocodiles, snakes, pythons, lizards, ostriches, kangaroos, sharks and stingrays as well as any products with fur.

Nordstrom joins a long list of major designers and retailers giving fur a boot including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Coach, Prada, Burberry, Versace, Kors, Gucci and Chanel.