“I’ve been to a few climate protests but this was one of the most effective I’ve seen.”
– Lowell, a young Positive Money supporter (sporting the Mark Carney facemask in the pics below!)
On Thursday 11th July a group of Positive Money staff, supporters and activists from Fossil Free London, a grassroots divestment group, gathered outside the Bank of England.
We were there on behalf of nearly 10,000 people, who are all calling for the Bank to stop fuelling climate change and start directing money towards our transition to a green economy.
Since 2009 the Bank of England has created £445 billion of new money in a process termed ‘quantitative easing’ (QE), and used it to buy assets from financial markets. This new money has ended up subsidising fossil fuel companies, including the likes of Shell and BP. Speculation is mounting that the Bank will undertake more QE in response to uncertainty around Brexit so we propose – and thousands agree – that if more QE is necessary, we should use these newly created of billions of pounds to decarbonise our economy and fund the green transition we desperately need, not continue subsidising the fossil fuel industry.
In the 90 minutes we were there, thousands of people heard our chants on their commute to work and hundreds took a leaflet about the campaign. Photojournalists snapped away, the Guardian Live Blog shared our quotes, and one Bloomberg journalist walked into the press conference in the Bank afterwards and asked Mark Carney for his thoughts on our protest!
In the weeks surrounding our action, we’ve propelled the whole debate about the role banks can play in fighting the climate emergency right up the agenda with articles in the Telegraph, OpenDemocracy, questions now spreading to the German Bundesbank, and foreign policy experts are weighing in too!
This is the result of all of us working together to steadily build momentum.
From the launch of our report ‘A Green Bank of England’ back in May 2018 to the major breakthroughs we saw in April from the Bank and the Labour party, coverage of the issue in the media has soared hand-in-hand with the number of signatures on the petition.
Which is still live! So, if you haven’t signed it yet you can still add your name or, if you already have, please encourage your friends to by sharing it on social media with the link bit.ly/SignGreenBoE and the hashtag #GreenTheBoE.
Thank you to everyone whose signed, shared (or even disagreed!) with the campaign so far – you’re all part of developing this debate and we couldn’t have achieved so much without you. As our supporter Lowell said after the action; “It made me realise how much my voice really matters and how much you can actually, easily do to bring about much needed change.” People power in action.
But we won’t be stopping here.
Our summer is already filling up with meetings with Extinction Rebellion and international environmental movement 350.org, alongside a workshop with a bunch of partners from the Green New Deal coalition. So do keep an eye out for potentially exciting Autumn plans!