Today our group exhibited a model oil rig outside the high street branch of Barclays in King’s Lynn to protest the company’s continued financing of fossil fuels, driving the climate crisis. We poured an eco-friendly fake “oil” over the rig to bring the dirty truth of the bank’s investments right to their doorstep. Unlike the oil Barclays invests in, rebels cleaned the spill up afterward leaving no lasting stains.
April 1st marks a globally aligned “rebellion wave” of campaigners targeting the financial pillar of the climate crisis. Activists across the UK and around the world are today taking part in non-violent direct action targeting local bank branches and HQs to speak out against their continued investment in fossil fuel industries that are destroying our environment and heating up our climate.
Barclays is the largest bank investing in fossil fuels in Europe, pouring billions into the dirty companies who are betting against our very future for short-term profits. Despite claiming to support the transition to a low carbon economy and setting themselves a ‘net zero’ target for 2050, Barclays have in fact increased their financing of coal, fracking, tar sands, and oil projects by $200 million since last year.
We’re calling for Barclays to stop the harm by ending their investments in fossil fuels now, not in 30 years time. Robert Shippey, 29, who poured the fake oil over the model oil rig said “I’m scared for my future. Companies like Barclays are keeping us on a path towards global climate breakdown. The crisis we face isn’t hypothetical for people my age, I will live through what is coming unless big business and governments act now to protect all of us.”
In order to meet our Paris climate goal of keeping global heating below 1.5ºC we know we have to stop using fossil fuels as soon as possible. We hope people will take action themselves by moving their money out of banks like Barclays that are using your money to destroy the environment and the climate. Tools like www.switchit.money help make that easy.
Rebels cleaned the fake oil immediately after the demonstration. An environmental officer was on the scene and confirmed that there would be no lasting damage from the fake oil entering public drains.