Bringing Fracking Home... to Barclays
In over 90 branches of Barclays around the country, customers have recently been surprised to meet campaigners Bringing Fracking Home to Barclays. In various creative ways, these campaigners have highlighted the bank's ownership of Third Energy, who want to frack for shale oil in the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside.
In central London, removal men delivered a sofa to a prime spot outside the Piccadilly Circus branch of Barclays bank, where Nicky Holling, a resident from Ryedale and her daughter Ruby, were served Yorkshire tea and biscuits. There was music, dancing and speeches in what was a family friendly event, organised by groups including Friends of the Earth, Divest London, Frack Free Ryedale, 350.org, Sum Of Us, Frack Off London, Go Fossil Free and Reclaim the Power. Campaign against Climate Change supporters joined around 100 people assembled over the 90 minute protest which shut down the branch, many activists vowing to return until the bank get the message and divests.
"We've come down to Barclays' home in the UK, to give them the clear message that they are not welcome to frack in our home in Ryedale." said Nicky
Rydedale residents are furious their local council voted in favour of fracking, despite 99% of comments on the planning application opposing it. Many have looked in detail at the fracking fallout from America and Australia and are determined not to let the industry take hold here. Unconventional oil exploitation will despoil the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, pollute the air and water and industrialise a region of rural farmland and quiet villages. Kirby Misperton, where the approved well lies, is south of the stunning scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park.
But this is not just a local issue. Fracking will exacerbate climate change and will make it impossible for the UK to meet its decarbonisation targets both in our own Climate Change Act and in the Paris climate deal. New research from the US has shown that the fossil fuel reserves which are currently being exploited would take the world beyond the 'safe' limits agreed in Paris. In other words, we simply cannot afford to frack, drill, or dig up any new fossil fuel deposits additional to these.
Barclays have once again shown themselves to be on the wrong side of history. A long campaign against their funding of the Apartheid regime in South Africa eventually forced the bank to acquiesce. Barclays fund Shell, a major player in the Candian tar sands; BHP Billiton and Anglo American, who have opened up huge areas of Colombia to destructive opencast coal mining and many other fossil fuel projects across the globe.
The bank are also funding the Dakota Access Pipeline in the USA, which intends to transport fracked oil from the Bakken shale region to population centres in Illinois. The pipeline runs across the land of the Standing Rock Sioux and water protectors have been involved in a tense stand-off of late, defending their land against an increasingly militarised North Dakota state police, who seek to illegally evict them.
Are these the kind of projects you want your money to be backing?
Find out about how you can switch your bank account away from Barclays (and other high street banks with similarly unsavoury investments).