Norwich church members protest against climate change
We all want to save for a rainy day, but what if our money is causing a storm? On March 13, members of St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich, along with Christian Aid staff and volunteers, visited London Street HSBC bank to hand in a letter signed by over 60 members of the church.
This is part of a national action by Christian Aid to visit branches across the country, calling on the global bank to ensure its activity is in keeping with the Paris Agreement’s target of keeping the global warming rise within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial temperatures.
The letter to the branch staff will be forwarded to HSBC CEO, John Flint, urging the bank to invest in clean energy and help protect the world and its people.
They also called on the bank to phase out financing fossil fuels altogether, and to remove Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia from an exception to a bar on financing new coal-powered plants across the world.
Local campaigners are planning to visit all 12 of the Norfolk HSBC branches.
Fiona Haworth, Associate Priest at Peter Mancroft church said: “Most of us use banks and would like to think that our money could be used to build a cleaner, safer world. Instead, a lot of our money, through the bank’s investment policy, is being used to finance new fossil fuel power plants, harming people around the world and putting all of our futures at risk”.
Christian Aid’s Lent and Easter appeal is called Rise Up, and as the waters rise around the world it is encouraging the church to to rise up, and speak for all those people whose livelihoods are being destroyed by climate change.
Julian Bryant, Christian Aid’s Norfolk Coordinator said, ‘Leading scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change tell us we have 12 years to stop catastrophic climate change. We have to do everything we can to make sure that those financing dirty fossil fuels are held to account.
HSBC has agreed to invest $100 billion in tackling climate change by 2025. This is fantastic. But it’s still investing in fossil fuels, which are fuelling climate change and destroying lives. We want HSBC to use its position as a major bank to lead the way, and close the gap between its rhetoric and its actions. The church can use its voice now to make a difference, or it could sit on the fence. I hope the church follows the way of Jesus in showing speaking up, taking action and showing great value to people and creation.’
If you or your church would like to take part then visit https://www.christianaid.org.uk/campaigns/climate-change/the-big-shift
Please also contact: Julian Bryant, Norfolk Coordinator, Christian Aid firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo by Christian Aid