There is a climate emergency, and only a small amount of time to prevent catastrophic runaway effects, leading to global food and water shortages, mass migration and societal collapse. Human extinction is a real and escalating risk. This is not alarmist exaggeration, but the scientific consensus of what we are heading towards within our lifetimes if serious action is not taken within the next few years.
There are solutions that are technically and economically possible within a short space of time, but urgent action is needed, and the government is not listening. Extinction Rebellion believes that people have a right and duty to rebel, to save our lives and the future of humanity. There is no time to lose, and we are using non-violent direct action like successful campaigns in the past that have changed history, such as the American Civil Rights movement.
Barclays has been complicit in the climate crisis for decades. The bank has a long history of financing violent fossil fuel extraction across the world, bankrolling social and environmental destruction. Barclays is now bringing fracking to the UK with Third Energy, a hydraulic fracking company, which it owns 97% controlling stakes in.
Fossil fuel companies are only able to finance their mines and oilfields with the help of banks. Despite dire warnings about the fate of the planet, these banks are increasing their financing for fossil fuel companies. A decade ago they crashed the economy, now they’re crashing the planet.
According to the Banking on Climate Change report, the worst offender in Europe is Barclays. Since the Paris agreement on climate change was signed at the end of 2015, Barclays has funded the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $85bn, including fracking and coal here in Britain.
The high street bank is notorious with a bad track record of being on the wrong side of history, playing a particularly prominent role in funding the Apartheid regime in South Africa. Barclays was a major financier, providing loans to the South African government used to uphold and enforce apartheid policies.
In the 1980s British students campaigned for Barclays to withdraw from apartheid South Africa – and won. More recently French campaigners successfully pressured banks into stopping funding coal projects. Extinction Rebellion activists in Lincolnshire and elsewhere are putting pressure on Barclays to end its key role in financing climate chaos. For all of our futures.