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Grandparents occupy Barclays Bank
Grandparents for a Safe Earth care deeply about the world our grandchildren will inherit. We call on Barclays Bank to disinvest from coal infrastructure and radically to increase investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
On 6 March, Members of the group made a protest inside Barclays Bank, Whiteladies Road, Bristol. They displayed posters, offered leaflets and asked for the support of staff and customers in pressing for Barclays to disinvest from coal. Photographs of grandchildren helped draw attention to their reasons for action.
The group is focussing on Barclays because the bank is the UK’s largest investor in worldwide coal infrastructure, and therefore a major contributor to climate change (www.banktrack.org ). The group believe that current energy policy, financed heavily by Barclays, puts their grandchildren’s future at risk.
The International Energy Agency has predicted that if current world policies continue, the temperature of the Earth will rise by 3.5 degrees C. (www.iea.org/publications especially its World Energy Outlook 2011 and 2012). The 2012 report predicts that “if action to reduce CO2 is not taken before 2017, all the allowable CO2 emissions will be locked-in by energy infrastructure existing at that time.” This means that it will be not be possible to limit the global temperature increase to the 2 degrees Centigrade which governments regard as a possibly safe level for human beings.
The group states that, in replies to correspondence, Barclays does not appear to regard the IEA reports as significant enough to require an urgent change of policy.
Statements by participant grandparents:
Kate Cannell (66) writes: ‘There is frighteningly little time left for us to prevent climate change from spiralling out of control. We need to act decisively right now to limit carbon emissions so that our grandchildren will have a safe earth to live on. I could not bear to think that I had stood by and done nothing to stop this earth from being ruined. That is why I’m taking part in this action today.’ (Grandmother of Rose, Eve and Alice)
Dr Ina Humphreys (76) writes: ‘We are killing our planet. If this continues, it will be the legacy of OUR generation. We need to act now!’ (Grandmother of Bethany, James and Amelia)
Phil Kingston (77) writes: ‘I am deeply disturbed that the information in the 2011 and 2012 IEA reports has not led to a massive switch by Barclays Bank from investment in coal to investment in renewables and energy efficiency. There is nothing more important to me than an Earth which is safe for my grandchildren and their peers” (Grandfather of James, Daniel, Phillipa and Edward)
Fi Radford (65) writes: ‘’Although I am not technically a grandparent yet, I feel a huge responsibility for the children and animals of our planet. The boomer generation has enjoyed a quality of life unimaginable to our parents. All future life on the planet may well have to pay the price.’’