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Celebrities name on UK banks to cease financing new oil, gasoline and coalfields | local weather disaster

Well-known names together with Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson and Mark Rylance have joined activists and companies in calling on the UK’s massive 5 banks to cease financing new oil, gasoline and coal enlargement.

Make My Cash Matter, a marketing campaign arrange by Richard Curtis, the screenwriter, director and Comedian Reduction co-founder, has written to the chief executives of HSBC, Barclays, Santander, NatWest and Lloyds to induce these banks to “cease financing fossil gasoline enlargement”.

Curtis stated they needed to lift public consciousness of “the harmful relationship between UK banks and the fossil gasoline business”.

Members of the general public are being invited to affix forces with celebrities, politicians, campaigners and enterprise leaders by signing the open letter.

The decision comes days after analysis indicated that banks and finance establishments that had signed as much as net-zero pledges had been nonetheless investing closely in fossil fuels.

Make My Cash Matter pointed to a report in February 2022 from the marketing campaign group ShareAction, which claimed that in 2021 HSBC, Barclays, Santander, NatWest and Lloyds, between them offered virtually $16bn (£12.9bn) in finance to the 50 largest oil and gasoline firms that had been increasing manufacturing.

Curtis’s group stated this was “regardless of clear steering from the Worldwide Power Company that we can not develop new oil and gasoline fields if we’re to restrict international warming to beneath 1.5C levels”.

The ShareAction report additionally acknowledged that between 2016 and 2021 the 5 UK banks financed the highest 50 oil and gasoline expanders to the tune of a complete of $141bn (£114bn).

That is regardless of surveys which have indicated a rising public demand for banks to behave on the local weather disaster.

Nearly a 3rd (29%) of the HSBC, Barclays, Santander, NatWest and Lloyds, clients surveyed by Make My Cash Matter stated they’d change their financial institution if they found it was financing fossil gasoline enlargement. In the meantime 86% didn’t assume their financial institution was doing sufficient to sort out the local weather emergency.

Along with Fry, Thompson and Rylance, the high-profile signatories included musician Brian Eno, naturalist and presenter Chris Packham and Inexperienced MP Caroline Lucas. Companies, activists and charities that signed included Simply Cease Oil, Greenpeace UK, Save the Kids UK, Ecotricity, Ella’s Kitchen, and Triodos Financial institution.

Signatories pledge not solely to marketing campaign for change but additionally to change to banks that don’t finance fossil gasoline enlargement.

Curtis stated: “We hope this strange coalition of activists and actors, companies and types, celebrities and local weather champions places a hearth beneath the banks to cease them setting fireplace to the world.”

In current months, there have been strikes by some UK banks over curbing finance for fossil gasoline enlargement.

HSBC stated it introduced restrictions on oil and gasoline financing final month, and the financial institution stated Make My Cash Matter was quoted in a BBC Information report apparently welcoming the coverage.

A spokesperson for HSBC stated: “HSBC goals to scale back emissions according to a 1.5C pathway to internet zero whereas selling power safety, affordability and entry. Our 1.5C-aligned financed emissions targets and up to date power coverage imply we are going to now not present new finance or advisory for brand new oil and gasoline fields or associated infrastructure, or for essentially the most carbon-intensive oil property.

“Supporting shoppers in high-emitting sectors to decarbonise can have essentially the most vital influence on emissions discount in the actual economic system and speed up an orderly transition to internet zero.”

Lloyds had introduced in October that it will not help direct financing to develop new oil and gasoline fields. It up to date its local weather coverage to make the change.

A NatWest spokesperson stated: “We now not lend to, or underwrite, coal, main oil and gasoline producers, until they’ve a reputable transition plan according to the Paris settlement, which has resulted in us committing to exit virtually £1bn of fossil gasoline financing. Our lending to the oil and gasoline sector has diminished considerably… with publicity to the sector now making up lower than 1% of our complete lending.”

Barclays stated it was one of many first banks to set an “ambition” to turn out to be internet zero by 2050. A spokesperson stated: “Many oil and gasoline firms are actively engaged and important to the transition, committing vital assets and experience to renewable power. We consider that we are able to make the best distinction by supporting these shoppers to transition to a low-carbon economic system, facilitating the finance wanted to vary their enterprise practices and scale inexperienced applied sciences. The place carbon-intensive firms are unable or unwilling to scale back or eradicate their emissions, we are going to cut back our help over time.”

A Santander spokesperson stated: “We’re absolutely dedicated to supporting the transition to internet zero and have set emission discount targets for 2030 throughout a spread of material-emitting sectors inside our mortgage e-book, together with energy technology, thermal coal, and power (oil and gasoline). Our lending insurance policies prohibit the financing of recent upstream oil shoppers and tasks, amongst different restrictions, and for the previous 10 years we have now persistently been one of many largest suppliers of renewable power mission finance on the earth.”

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