The last month was confirmed as the hottest ever recorded, with scientists warning of increased extreme weather events. The IPCC report has just declared code red for humanity. And a UNICEF report declared over a billion children at extreme risk face a deadly combination of exposure to multiple climate and environmental shocks, UNICEF called the situation “unimaginably dire”. It feels like a race against time.
And that’s why Extinction Rebellion – XR – have announced a new round of protests, starting Monday 23rd August and lasting for two weeks. They will target the City of London to highlight the billions of pounds poured into fossil fuels and high-carbon activities by financiers based in London’s financial districts.
If London’s financial markets were a country they would be the world’s 9th largest emitter of carbon. That’s bigger than the emissions from the whole of Canada or Germany. And far more than the cumulative emissions of the 33 countries that are going to be most severely affected by the climate crisis in the UN’s report.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, a co-founder of XR’s International Solidarity Network, said:
“[The power of international finance in promoting fossil fuels] is the promulgation of Empire 2.0. We have the responsibility to hold governments and corporations to account, especially corporations registered on the London Stock Exchange. People in the global south have shown the way to live sustainably.”
She said the aim was to show how the world could be changed by ordinary people coming together. “We are not powerless – you have more power than you think,” she said. “We are the collective power to be the change that we need.”
BBC: Climate change: IPCC report is ‘code red for humanity’ https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-5813070
Independent: Nearly half of world’s children at ‘extremely high risk’ of climate change impacts, Unicef report says https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/unicef-children-risk-climate-change-b1905748.html
Guardian: British banks finance 805m tonnes of CO2 production a year https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/may/25/british-banks-finance-805m-tonnes-of-co2-production-a-year
Guardian: Extinction Rebellion targets City of London over climate role https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/19/extinction-rebellion-targets-city-of-london-over-climate-role?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other