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LETTER: “Arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Climate Justice”

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I was one of around 30 people on the Welsh / England border supporting the thousands of Extinction Rebellion activists who demonstrated in London last week.

I left Knighton to join the last week of actions.

I have been arrested twice for demonstrating peacefully for systemic changes in our institutions to avoid more catastrophic climate chaos.

We focused on the City of London – a global commercial and financial center – where UK banks and investors are responsible for almost double the UK’s annual carbon emissions.

A recent report by Greenpeace and WWF found that UK finance should be viewed as a ‘high carbon sector’, similar to oil and gas, coal mining, aviation and transport.

Although the financial sector is the engine of the high carbon economy, it is currently not required to reduce its emissions in accordance with government targets.

For the UK to meet its global climate commitments under the Paris Agreement, it must immediately regulate the financial sector.

After being arrested for taking over a crossroads with hundreds of other people to draw attention to the responsibilities of the financial sector, I was released on bail by the police.

Two days later, I joined over 50 other protesters in breaking our bail conditions and no longer entering the city.

I carried a sign that said “Arrested for Conspiracy to Commit Climate Justice”.

We were supported by hundreds of other demonstrators. I sat outside the Bank of England to call the Governor, Andrew Bailey.

We were asking for a meeting to discuss what the Bank could do to stop funding fossil fuel projects. But he did not come out and we were arrested once more.

We would have asked him to comment on the International Energy Agency’s May this year’s statement warning that to reach net zero emissions by 2050, all new investments in fossil fuels would have to stop by the end. of this year.

The 60 largest banks in the world have funded the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $ 3.8 trillion since 2016 and our action has highlighted the Bank of England’s failure to regulate these banks and in fact still owns investments compatible with a warming of 3.5 ° C by the end of the century. .

We also wanted to hear what he would have to say about the Bank’s response to the Covid crisis, as last year, 56% of Covid funding was distributed by the bank to carbon-intensive industries, including including airlines, automakers, and oil and gas companies.

We wanted to know why he did not support the transition to a more sustainable and just society, and why central banks supported a financial system that facilitates climate change, ecological destruction and an increased risk of pandemic.

There isn’t much that ordinary people can do to combat these climate-destructive practices, but we can make sure that all of us who are lucky enough to have pension funds or savings make sure we don’t. not fund fossil fuel companies.

Angie Zelter,

Knighton


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