Supporters from Southampton dedicated their Saturday to campaigning for Christian Aid, starting at the Eastleigh branch of HSBC and walking eight miles up the Itchen river to the Winchester branch, urging the banks to stop financing climate-wrecking fossil fuels.
The five campaigners (including one very keen canine campaigner) were part of a national action by Christian Aid to visit branches across the country, calling on the global bank to ensure its activity is in keeping with the Paris Agreement’s target of keeping the global warming rise within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures.
The campaigners delivered a letter to the branch staff to forward to HSBC CEO, John Flint, and a petition urging the bank to invest in clean energy and help protect the world and its people.
They also called on the bank to phase out financing fossil fuels altogether, and to remove Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia from an exception to a bar on financing new coal-powered plants across the world.
Campaigner Sarah Wake said: ‘These are exceptional times. We’ve sat back and expected other people to tackle climate change for too long.'
‘Christian Aid’s Lent and Easter appeal is called Rise Up, and as the waters rise around the world we have to rise up, and speak for all those people whose livelihoods are being destroyed by climate change.'
- Sarah Wake, Campaigner.
Sarah continued: ‘Leading scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tell us we have 12 years to stop catastrophic climate change. We have to do everything we can to make sure that those financing dirty fossil fuels are held to account.'
'HSBC has agreed to invest $100 billion in tackling climate change by 2025. This is fantastic. But it’s still investing in fossil fuels, which are fuelling climate change and destroying lives. We want HSBC to use its position as a major bank to lead the way, and close the gap between its rhetoric and its actions.'
'Staff at the bank were happy to listen to us and agreed to pass the letter on. Change happens when people come together and it’s great to know that we’re part of a national movement from Cornwall to Aberdeen.’
Campaigners all over the country are getting involved!
Use our resources to get your church involved in the campaign.