• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Extinction Rebellion protesters dye themselves BLACK in Cornmarket

Byoxfordnewspaper

Jul 31, 2022

Extinction Rebellion protesters staged a dye-in in Cornmarket to protest about fossil fuels.

About 30 members of the local branch of the environmental protest group covered themselves in black dye before lying down in the middle of the busy shopping street this afternoon.

They deliberately staged their protest outside Barclays Bank, claiming it is Europe's biggest financier of fossil fuels.

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The protesters remained lying down in the street for about 20 minutes before cleaning off the black 'pond dye'.

Peter Greenfield, from Wantage, who is one of the organisers, said: "Our members have covered themselves in oil to highlight the consequences of inaction when it comes to climate change.

"We want to raise awareness about Barclays Bank."

Dr Ines Smyth, from Oxford, who took part in the protest, said: "People have experienced the heatwave, so the effects of climate change are starting to be tangible to people.

"People are starting to realise the consequences of the climate crisis."

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Protesters handing out leaflets to shoppers, which said: "Our message to Barclays: Stop funding fossil fuels!"

The leaflet added: "Scientists tell us that for a safer climate we must rapidly stop burning fossil fuels.

"If we do not, we will all pay the cost – in extreme weather, lost lives and livelihood and loss of nature."

Barclays financed more in fossil fuel projects than any of the UK’s largest banks in the months leading up to the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow last year, according to a report by climate finance campaigners.

The bank financed $5.6bn (£4.1bn) for new fossil fuel projects from January 2021 to the eve of the UN climate summit, Market Forces found, despite growing international warnings that any new fossil developments would destroy any chance of avoiding a catastrophic climate breakdown.

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Barclays’ multibillion pound support for fossil fuel projects was ranked ahead of that of HSBC, which financed $5.3bn this year, and Standard Chartered, which made $4.3bn available.

Barclays issued this statement in November: "A Barclays spokesperson said: “We are aligning our entire financing portfolio to support the goals of the Paris agreement – significantly scaling up green financing, directly investing in new green technologies and helping clients in key sectors change their business models to reduce their climate change impact.

"By 2025, we will reduce the emissions intensity of our power portfolio by 30%, and reduce absolute emissions of our energy portfolio by 15%."

Mr Greenfield, a carpenter, said protesters also staged a performance to get their message across.

"We want to remind shoppers that there are alternative banks," he added.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF