Rishi Sunak woke up to a big surprise this morning: a full page advert demanding he stop bankers funding the climate crisis splashed across his local newspaper. If you’re on Twitter, please retweet the ad.
From the Dales to Indonesia, extreme weather events are hitting us all around the globe with the same rotten cause: banks are still pouring billions of pounds into fossil fuels. As Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has the chance to give the Bank of England a strong new mandate before the Budget in just a few weeks’ time. A new mandate that’d stop UK banks causing climate breakdown, and help lead us to a green recovery. So today we shared that message loud and clear.
The wraparound ad featuring on this week’s edition of the Darlington & Stockton Times is a perfect example of people power in action. Almost 60,000 people have signed our petition in partnership with SumofUs and 350.org, and 494 Positive Money heroes donated to pay for this advert.
To make the shift to a low-carbon economy, we need our banks to stop funding new fossil fuel projects. As the key regulator of our financial system, the Bank of England could make banks do this, but right now its hands are tied by an outdated mandate. And we’re not the only ones who think so.
Last year, in partnership with the New Economics Foundation, we sent an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, calling on them to change the mandate. It was signed by hundreds of organisations and economists and gained coverage in The Guardian and Financial Times. Soon afterwards, a new report from the government’s own Climate Change Committee made similar recommendations stating that “the UK should fully integrate climate risk and net-zero into financial regulation and monetary policy. Net-zero targets should be made mandatory for financial institutions.” And just last month, MPs from the Environmental Audit Committee reached the same conclusion, after we submitted evidence to their inquiry into Greening our post-Covid recovery.
Sunak now has a clear choice to make before Budget day; will he be a climate villain or a green superhero?
The inside spread of our advert, a poster to colour in and display in your window!
The petition is open until 24th February, if you haven’t already, please add your name here.