A step towards a greener economy
In March, together we helped win a historic new ‘green’ mandate for the Bank of England. This means it must now work towards sustainability and net-zero – a huge step forward for protecting our planet.
We put key reports and open letters on policy makers’ desks, and crowdfunded a front-page advert on Rishi Sunak’s local paper. So far, the Bank’s announced it’s prepared to adjust capital rules to reflect climate risk, and begin greening its Corporate Bond Purchase Scheme. They’re two small steps compared to the bold actions we need, but it’s a start.
Changing the digital money system
When Positive Money started out in the 2010s, a “Central Bank Digital Currency” was a fringe idea. It’s now close to being introduced by the Bank of England and other central banks around the world. Done right, it could democratise our money system – take power away from big banks and card companies and hand it back to the public.
But these private companies are already vying for control of it. So we’re sounding the alarm in videos, infographics and blogs, by mobilising the public, and by asking people to chip into a fighting fund – so together we can stand up to the tech giants and bring our money system back into public hands. Please chip in if you can.
Calling out economic lies
Positive Money’s myth-busting videos were back in 2021, calling out Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Keir Starmer and prospective MPs for spreading untruths about our economy. We’ve also produced a lively blog feed, with think pieces on inflation, the future of money, and part two of our series exploring banking, race and colonialism.
Telling the truth about housing affordability
This year Positive Money won some dedicated funding to explore the lesser-known issue of how unchecked finance is driving the housing crisis. We’ve hosted two roundtables and been working on a report to show why housing is so unaffordable to a growing majority of people. See this blog and look out for our proposals next year.
Thousands of indigenous, youth and climate activists demonstrated together outside banks in 29 countries for the global #defundclimatechaos day of action, on the eve of the COP26 climate talks. We were proud to be part of such a powerful coalition and the climate justice memorial at the Bank of England.
On COP finance day, our head of policy Simon Youel explained on BBC News why we need the Government and Bank of England – not bank CEOs – to lead the way to a sustainable economy. We called out the lack of restrictions on fossil fuel lending in a leading BBC News article and in The Guardian, among other places.
Getting MPs on board
In September, our supporters rallied an unprecedented 85 MPs and peers from all the main political parties – to sign our open letter to the Bank of England calling for an end to fossil fuel finance. High-profile signatories include Green MP Caroline Lucas, former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey and Theresa May’s former adviser and Conservative peer John Randall.
In March we released The Green Central Banking Scorecard – a report that ranks central banks on their efforts to go green. Our October update shows there are still too many promises and not enough action from the world’s biggest central banks. Not a single one scored better than a ‘C’ grade.
The report’s had an impact across the world, with media mentions in well over a dozen countries including the US, China, South Korea, France and Switzerland. US Congress members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley cited the report as evidence of the Federal Reserve’s poor performance on climate.
Launching Positive Money US
In August Positive Money US started with the first official staff member. This introductory video shows some of what’s planned for campaigns focusing on systemic change at the Federal Reserve and US government. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’re very excited for this new organisation!
Spreading the word in our communities
Some local groups powered through Covid-19 with online discussions, and this year some met up in person again 🎉. Positive Money Southampton took their festival stall back to Trifest, and helped out with the #defundclimatechaos action outside Barclays in Totton. Look out for more local and national online meetings in 2022!
More media hits than ever before
We’ve had 334 pieces of online, print and media coverage this year. Highlights include our senior economist David Barmes talking greenwashing on Channel 4 news, our response to the Bank of England’s mandate change in the Times, comments on the Budget on the BBC and in Tribune, an opinion piece in The Independent on why Rishi Sunak should stop peddling myths about public finance and pieces on cash and digital currency in the New Statesman and Guardian.
Growing in strength and numbers
Tracey, Farisai, Nicole, Chloe and Nikki – several great new team members joined Positive Money this year and got stuck in. In November, we welcomed director Fran Boait back from maternity leave, taking us to 14 staff. It’s been a year of supporting one another through lockdowns, homeworking, and important opportunities for impact.
A new decade, a new strategy
After 10 years as an organisation, in 2021 we launched our new five-year strategy. In 2022 we’re excited to publish research exposing the extent of the revolving door between government and big finance, and to run our first citizens’ jury – helping a group of citizens design a wellbeing economy that works for them. Watch this space!
We’re so proud of the work of our supporters who have come together to push for positive change in 2021. There’s still a lot of work to be done for affordable housing, green jobs and building a democratic money and banking system. So we hope you’ll stick with us in the new year as we ramp up the fight for a fairer, greener economy that works for all.