After 4 days of Crisis Talks popping up across Central London, Extinction Rebellion will shift focus today by moving to the City of London, the driver of climate and ecological destruction. Leading with our new immediate demand – for the UK Government to stop all new fossil fuel investments immediately – we will make it clear that the responsibility to rapidly decarbonise starts right here in the City.
Beginning at the Bank of England at 12pm, the ‘Blood Money’ march will make its way through the City, standing side by side with United for Black Lives. The march will highlight the bloodsoaked profiteering of our economic system: the banks that fund fossil fuel projects, especially in the Global South; the law firms that represent them; and the institutions that enable them to operate with impunity.
This is an intervention on the City of London. Please do not resist.
The City of London is a root cause of the climate and ecological emergency. If it were a country it would be the 9th biggest carbon emitter on the planet. Not one of the top 10 funders in the City has made a serious plan to exit fossil fuels, despite having pledged to go Net Zero by 2050. Not one. It’s stuck in a cycle of addiction that needs breaking.
But it is also at the heart of systemic racism – the City of London was a driving force behind the transatlantic slave trade, and today hosts numerous institutions responsible for to exploitation and extraction from the Global South.
Chris Harris, spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Unify said: “It stands today that finance is the grease in the wheels of global exploitation, whether it be the trillions of dollars in resources drained from the Global South, or the billions of tonnes of carbon emissions produced in the name of profit by companies here in the City.”
The world has been failing to tackle the climate and ecological crisis for over 30 years and the City is the centre of the reason for that failure. Rainforest Action Network (RAN) revealed that the top 60 banks have spent an eye-watering $3.8 trillion on fossil fuels since the 2015 Paris Accords, and their 2020 investments outstrip those in 2016 or 2017. Emissions from Barclays and HSBC alone are 1.8 times the entire UK domestic emissions.
Zoë Blackler of the Extinction Rebellion media team said: “Our addiction to fossil fuels must end, and we know the first road block the government will meet as they try to wean the UK off them will be right here in the City, claiming it’s too costly and they just need a few more years. But enough is enough. Before we begin to repair the damage, we need to stop making the crisis worse. Right now. Because change is coming whether we like it or not. We have so far to go, ending new investment in fossil fuels is the first obvious step.”
There will be lots of action happening today and we will be doing rolling updates here so keep an eye out for more info to come.
Extinction Rebellion is also inviting employees working for companies still bankrolling fossil fuels to Whistleblow for the Planet and tell us what they know via our whistleblowing platform TruthTeller.Life.
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.