Banks funding climate change: Barclays & HSBC worst in Europe. Plus Oxford University DIVESTS!

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Ahead of our expert-led Zoom webinar workshop THIS SATURDAY, ‘Understanding how our money choices impact the climate’ (sign up HERE), here are two important bits of finance-focused news.

We’ll get onto both in detail and more in the webinar, as we have Rachel Mountain from Ethex joining us to talk green your finances (covering bank choice, pensions, ISAs (savings), funds & greenwashing, and direct investing); Al Chisholm from Fossil Free Oxfordshire talking divestment; and the Low Carbon Hub’s Saskya Huggins with us to talk about current opportunities for investment.

Participation is free and open to all, but you need to sign up in advance, which you can do here.


Is YOUR bank funding climate chaos?

A newly published report, Funding Climate Chaos by 350.org, Platform London, People & Planet and The Sunrise Project, gives a damning assessment of how banks are fuelling the ecological crisis.

Globally, 35 banks are financing the fossil fuel industry by £2 trillion.

Among UK-based banks, Barclays and HSBC have given £158 billion to fossil fuel industries since the Paris Agreement, making them the worst offenders in Europe!

The impacts will be felt most in the developing world. Despite projections that in ten years time more than 43,600 people could die a year from coal power pollution in Vietnam, HSBC continues to finance coal power plants there.

The report is clear: global finance is backing carbon-intensive projects that would lead to a 4°C rise in global temperatures. With this comes the potential of collapsed food systems, mass migration, and a global health crisis. Without their funding, climate destroying projects simply wouldn’t be possible.

If your bank fuels climate change, you can switch easily here.

Also possibly useful, here’s the letter I sent to Barclays when I moved my money away from them and closed my accounts – feel free to download it and tweak it to match your own situation – and send us a picture of you about to send it!


Major progress on the divestment front: Oxford University commits to a net-zero investment strategy

Congrats to our friends at Fossil Free Oxfordshire, and in particular the students and those involved in the university campaign – the University of Oxford is divesting from all direct investments in fossil fuel companies and is committing to a net-zero investment strategy!  This follows a series of high profile events by Oxford Climate Justice Group, Fossil Free and XR Oxford.

The policy was passed by 5,500 academic and administrative members of the Congregation, the University’s governing body.

Almost all of Britain’s top universities have now pledged to divest, at least partially, from fossil fuels.

There’s still a lot more to do…

Many of the University’s constituent colleges still have investment policies that permit investment in fossil fuels. St John’s College, scene of a recent occupation led by students and their allies, still has £8.1 million invested in Shell and BP, the largest investment of any Oxford college.


Find out all about money and climate change from our experts this Saturday

We’ll be covering personal banking, investment and divestment, and other aspects of finance and climate change, in our Zoom money & climate event on Saturday at 11.  Sign up and join us then.

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